Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Power of Influence

Did you know that being an Influencer is actually considered a job title?  Everywhere I look there are people influencing others with their opinions or direct experiences to either purchase something, use something, go somewhere, etc.  

If we are honest we all want to be considered an influencer, whether we get paid for it or not.  Something within our souls inherently wants to make an impact in some way.  I think that this can be a very good and positive thing but can it become dangerous?

The Lord has really been working in my heart on the subject of influence and honestly, I've really been trying to avoid writing on the subject.  It feels like an uncomfortable space because I know people personally who take their role as an influencer very seriously.  Trust me when I say that it is not my intention to offend anyone that is in that space but rather the Lord wants me to put a challenge out there.

With so many things competing for our attention these days, and the plethora of products available, how do we gauge truth vs advertising and align it with our own personal lives or convictions?

For me, I use facebook, I am active on instagram and I pay attention to the things I follow, the people I follow and the items they promote.  Most importantly though, before taking their opinion or recommendation, I review where their own influences come from.  Transparency and humility are the two most important authenticators for me.

For those of us that want to make an impact, I challenge you today with a simple thought, while you are hoping to impact others, what are you allowing to impact you?

All of my life, my goal has been to honor God in all that I do.  I want to INFLUENCE people toward faith.  In my actions, in my speech and in the way I live my life.  There are many times that I fall incredibly short of this goal but I take courage in knowing that God knows me and loves me, flaws and all.  Nonetheless, I have been caught in seasons where other things become idols and take precedence when they should not.  I've made an idol of money, I've made an idol of planning and control, I've made an idol of beauty, the list could go on and on.  I get it, I've been there with all of it.

My friends, today is not meant to be a criticism but rather a challenge.  When others see you and take your recommendations, are you also allowing them the privilege of seeing what is impacting your life?  Or, may I ask, are they seeing something else take precedence over the things that should influence YOU the most?  

For those of us that want to make an influence, ultimately, what are we pointing to?  If it is not something that we believe in wholeheartedly, something that encourages, builds up, or something we aspire for in our very own life, I pray we can re-evaluate our motives and our idols, to rediscover our alignment and our purpose.  For those of us that are Christians, at the end of the day, do we point to Jesus or not?

1 Thessalonians 2:4 For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News.  Our purpose is to please God, not people.  He alone examines the motives of our hearts.  

1 Corinthians 2:3 I came to you in weakness--timid and trembling.  And my message and my preaching were very plain.  Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.  I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.