INFLUENCE – to have an effect on…

by Christine Kreisher

Leadership is influence.   Every time I think of the word leadership, that’s what pops into my mind. Thank you John Maxwell. You’ve taught me well! And because leadership is influence, the fact of the matter is that we’re all leaders because we all influence someone. I also heard Christine Caine say that, as followers of Jesus, we’re all leaders because we are all called to lead others into a growing relationship with Him. Those words just resonate with my soul. Oh how I want my life to lead others into a growing relationship with our Savior!

 

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus asked us to DO one thing, “Make Disciples.” We do that by using our influence– the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. The extent to which we have an effect on someone, is solely rooted in our personal character, development and behavior. That’s pretty intense. Think about that for a while.

 

Are there cracks in your character? The reality is, what seems like just a crack to you may be so blatantly obvious to those around you. Cracks become gaping holes very quickly and can also be blind spots as well. Are you brave enough to ask the people around you to tell you the truth about you? I once heard a powerful message by Jeff Henderson where he dared his audience to ask the people closest to them one question, “What’s it like to be on the other side of me?” Try it! Some of the greatest character builders in your life are your truth tellers.

 

Development. How are you growing? Have you settled for status quo? Are you good with where you are and what you know? That’s a dangerous place to be. Or are you committed to be a lifelong learner? Are you hungry for knowledge? We’ve all heard it said that knowledge is power but the truth is that wisdom is really where the power is at. There are a lot of people in this world with tons of knowledge; degrees out the wazoo! But so many people get knowledge constipation! They know a lot but never apply it. People with tremendous influence; people who are tremendous leaders, apply their knowledge. They dare to do great things. Their stories are inspiring because they truly live! What will you do today to expand your capacity to lead others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ?

 

Our behavior is the result of our character and development. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” “Out of the abundance of the heart, a man speaks.” What’s in your heart? Here’s a better question, what are you putting in your heart? What are you feeding your soul? Input-Output. What goes in, must and does come out!

Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.

Our behavior is what everyone sees. Our behavior determines the effectiveness and impact of our words…ouch! We can say all the right stuff but if our actions don’t line up with our words, our words fall on deaf ears. We prove the world right, “Christians are hypocrites!” Our words become as useless as tying the hands of someone dying of thirst and handing them a bottle of water sealed with a tightly fit lid.   That’s pretty harsh, but think about it. People are starving for truth, they are thirsty for someone to show them an authentic faith. You may be the only Bible someone reads.

What does your character, development, and behavior say about Jesus? We’re all on a journey and we’ve all got a long way to go, but what can you do today to increase your influence? Allow God to stretch you, to show you the cracks in your character and the flaws in your behavior so that you can say, as Paul said, “Come follow me as I follow Christ,” and when you turn around there’s a crowd following you.

“Enlarge the site of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them; lengthen your tent ropes and make your pegs firm. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; and your descendants will take possession of nations and will inhabit deserted cities” (Isaiah 54:2-3 AMP).

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