Let’s close out our discussion about the Woman at the Well by talking about influence. Dictionary.com defines influence: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
The Woman at the Well is an amazing example of the effect Jesus can have on a life. The story began with a woman who was a social outcast. We see her at the well drawing water at noon…the hottest part of the day. As the story shows this woman had quite a reputation. More than likely she chose this hour to draw water because she knew there wouldn’t be many people at the well. Perhaps she had been taunted and talked about so much during the morning hours that it was obvious she wasn’t welcomed. Or perhaps she was ashamed of her lifestyle choices and wanted to avoid potentially unpleasant encounters. Who knows? Her purposeful avoidance of her fellow Samaritans makes it a safe assumption that she wasn’t exactly a woman of influence in her community.
After her encounter with Jesus, we see a different person. When she returned to the village, she sought out people to share her experience. “Back in the village she told the people, ‘Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?’ And they went out to see for themselves” (John 4:28-30). Her new found voice had an influence on the people in her village. “Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman’s witness: ‘He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!’” (John 4:34).
Every morning you wake up, you make a choice to influence the people around you. We live in an age where you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to make that influence. When you encounter people – be it at work, the store, the doctor’s office, on Facebook, on Twitter, or via email – you have the opportunity to make an impact on them.
Someone recently told me a personal goal of one of her friends “She said that she aims to carry herself in a way that people know that she carries the spirit of Christ with her. She said that before she ever opens her mouth, people should just know.”