Few things can make an individual cringe more than the thought of being a poor example for someone they truly care about. Lingering dark clouds fro, a guilty conscience constantly hang over your head when you see that individual’s actions. The first time you consider the idea that your influence has caused another’s misfortunes, you immediately start to make justifications.
“Look, it’s not my fault that they look up to me. I wish they didn’t in the first place.”
“Why should I be responsible for someone else’s actions? I don’t want the responsibility.”
Memories of what seemed like such innocent actions all those years back slowly begin to replay in your head like a dusty old record. You begin to remember occasions where people told you that your influence casts shadows further than your eyes can see. Regardless, you’re unwilling to change your actions. A second wave of justifications.
“Why can’t they only look at the positive stuff I’ve done?”
“I didn’t make those bad decisions, so why should it affect me?”
Guilt begins to stalk your thoughts. You’re beginning to notice this individual’s downward spiral reach depths you’ve never before experienced. Your warnings and lectures begin to fall upon deaf ears.
Listen bud, I know that I used to do the same thing, but I never did THAT. Please, please be careful.”
“The only reason I’m telling you this is because I love you. You have got to straighten up.”
Before you know it, your words and actions mean nothing to this person. They have already heard everything you have to say and have grown tired of the same old song and dance. Some nights are spent tossing and turning trying to hide from the guilt. Your worst fear becomes a reality.
I might’ve been able to prevent all of this before and now there is nothing I can do or say. My hand might’ve been the one to lead this person down the wrong path and they’ve strayed beyond my reach.
Guilt consumes you. You subconsciously blame yourself for all that has gone wrong. There is nothing you can do now to help. All attempts result in failure. Prayers for mercy become your only hope.
Consider your influence.