IMPOSSIBLE as in reality it is to avoid exercising personal influence, there is yet a restricted sense in which it may be withheld to the grievous hurt of those whose due it is: just as a lantern may be placed so as to hide its light.
But alas! such withholding amounts not to neutrality but to evil influence: the lantern which does not cast light casts shadow. "He that gathereth not with Me," saith the Truth, "scattereth."
On the other hand and for our encouragement, good influence may be at work where no immediate visible result ensues; where the result may not by us be traceable on earth or in time, but only in heaven and throughout eternity.
I have read a story of a date palm which lived a long while green and barren. One year without apparent cause it bore fruit. Wherefore? Because out of sight a remote kindred palm shed its fructifying pollen, and this the wind bore to impregnate the barren tree.