You are probably familiar with the acronym DUI, which abbreviates the phrase “driving under the influence”. DUI laws date to 1910 when New York became the first state to regulate drinking and driving. Since that time, changes have included progressive reductions in the allowable blood alcohol limit and increases in the legal drinking age .
DUI infractions carry significant penalties for good reason: lives can be lost and innocent people can be harmed when drinking and driving are mixed. However, DUI remains within the driver’s control. A choice is made to drink and then drive. You don’t have to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs when driving. You can choose not to ingest and the influence is eliminated.
I’d like to introduce a new, much more pervasive acronym, LUI, and its associated phrase “living under the influence”. In this case, there is no choice. You ARE living under the influence — every single person on the planet. However, you still have the opportunity to choose your influence.
God gave us free will, as well as the immense responsibility that it incurs. We can choose to worship and follow God or we can choose something else (this is called an idol). Idol choices differ for each of us and can even change over time. Rest assured that you are being influenced, however, whether your choice is God or money or sex or prestige or… It is therefore essential that we make a conscious decision about what will drive our desires, energy, and time (in other words, our worship).
LUI is supported by scripture. Let’s take a look at some representative passages.
- You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Galatians 5:7-9 ESV
- Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
- He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24-25 ESV
- All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV
- “The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.” John 14:21 MSG
I encourage you to think carefully about your influences: media (movies, music, magazines, Internet, social apps), friends, boy/girlfriends, thought life… If that list does not include the Bible, daily Bible study, consider the concept of LUI. What wind is blowing you? Is it driving you toward a safe harbor, dangerous rocks, or further out to sea?
God wants your worship. He wants a personal relationship with you. Open His word to find His desires for your life. LUI friend!