INFLUENCE

{This is the first entry of what will be multiple entries dancing around the topic of INFLUENCE. Stay tuned for more over the coming weeks.}

Matthew 5:13-16 tells us “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” 

We find more about who we are called to be in I Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 

And one of my favorites, 2 Corinthians 5:20 that says “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

Each of these scriptures shows us the potential influencer we can be.

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Influence oozes into and out of every part of our lives, daily, minute by minute. I find so often I live most of my life in the mindset that I have nothing to offer those around me yet the truth is that I do. I can offer my influence.

Influence is that weird unseen power that every person has.

INFLUENCE – the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone

Not one person on the face of the earth is exempt from being affected and affecting others through the power of influence, including you. Let’s do a fun little exercise. Think about the first few hours of your day today. Maybe you woke up, made your bed, drank coffee, showered, got dressed, spent time with Jesus, woke others up, prepared breakfast, walked a dog, scrolled Instagram….

What did you do this morning? Think through how you were influenced in making every one of those decisions. How did you pick your coffee, your creamer, even your mug? Did you read or hear about what coffee others say is good and so you tried it, which led you to buy it, brew it and enjoy it today? What about the products you used in the shower, your make-up, and your clothes? Even how you spend time with Jesus is influenced by what we have learned from others regarding “quiet times” and I am sure you were intentional in the tools you used based on someone influencing you to use those tools! We are SO influenced in everything we do!

Now, think about whom you influenced in the process of what you did this morning. Often women set the tone of environments. So what tone did you set in the places you were? Have you ever been with someone that was in a bad mood and it got all on you? Were you that person today? Or were you joyful, humming praise to God under your breath and smiling at every person you saw? And I bet you didn’t stop to think about the people who would look at your outfit today and either decide if they don’t like it or if they will try to find jeans just like the ones you wore (don’t tell me you have never looked at another woman and thought, “I wonder where she got that?”). If you walked your dog this morning you made his day amazing! The list is never-ending to the unseen power of influence.

So what does the Bible say about us as followers of Christ and our influence? It says that we are salt, light, a royal priesthood and ambassadors of Christ! So who are we supposed to be that influence to? There are 3 spheres, or groups of people, that each one of us has in our lives with potential to influence significantly.

  1. Our Family. Blood relatives and those friends that are family by choice.
  2. Our Neighbor. Co-workers, neighbors, and those we see often at church, the gym, the kids sports game, etc…
  3. Our World. The people we run into around our city that we don’t have a relationship with, those that live in other places that we only hear about in the news, a great sermon or a book we are reading.

Think about how many points of contact you have with others throughout your average day. As you ponder the numerous faces your path crosses in a 24 hours period, read the following words…

The slightest breeze that ever blew
Some slender grass has wavered,
The smallest life I ever knew
Some other life has flavored.

We cannot live our lives alone
For other lives we touch
Are either strengthened by our own,
Or weakened just as much. –Author Unknown

When you think of yourself do you see yourself as salt, light, a royal priesthood and ambassadors of Christ like the scriptures you read above call you?

 Ask God in your own words to see yourself and your role in the earth the way he created it to be. You are an INFLUENCER. 

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