The Power of Influence
I place great value on those whom the Lord has used to influence my life. Quin Sherrer is one of those people. For several years, she urged - sometimes harassed - me to write. Quin believed in my writing ability when I didn’t believe in myself. A very successful author herself, Quin shares with us today about the power of influence.
“Sociologists say we will influence or be influenced by ten thousand people in our lifetime.(1) I wonder if that’s true.
“But think of those who do influence us - relatives, friends, teachers, preachers, neighbors, doctors, politicians, bosses, co-workers, salesmen, repairmen and many more.
“In turn, we have our own sphere of influence. People whose lives we touch. We influence.
“In the upcoming Great Awakening, it is going to take many to disciple (mentor and/or influence) the thousands of new believers who will need to be taught the ways of Christ. But there are others out there right now who need our touch. In numerous ways!
“Influencing is ‘the power to change or affect someone or something; to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen.’ We can choose to influence for good, not bad; to help, not hurt; to encourage, not discourage.
“Paul advised: ‘Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil’ (Ephesians 5:15-16, AMPC).
“God needs mature Christians to mentor new believers--to help them grow in the Lord, and to help them fulfill their destinies. While the word ‘mentoring’ isn’t mentioned in the Bible, ‘go make disciples’ was a command of Jesus.
“The Bible is replete with mentoring examples: Elisha learned from Elijah. Mary, while expecting the baby Jesus, went to her older relative Elizabeth and stayed for three months. Paul took young Timothy under his care as a son and wrote him, ‘Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know from whom you learned it’ (2 Timothy 3:14). He wrote to Titus that the older women were to train the younger women “...to love their husbands, to love their children, and to be self-controlled and pure, taking care of their households…” (Titus 2:4-5, TPT).
“I’ve heard it said that every believer needs a Paul to teach him, a Barnabas to encourage him, and a Timothy to carry out what they taught.
“Teressa of Avila, a 16th century nun, said, ‘Christ has no hands on earth but yours. No feet on earth but yours. No eyes of compassion on earth but yours. He has no body on earth but yours.’(2)
“God is looking for ordinary people like you and me to do extraordinary things for Him by allowing Holy Spirit to use us in the lives of those with whom we interact. He wants us to reach others for Jesus--living our lives as an example and sharing our knowledge of the Bible. But He may also ask us to use our skills, abilities, advice or friendship to help them, too.
“The Bible has 35 to 50 ‘one anothers’ listed in the New Testament--depending on which translation you read. Everything from ‘pray for one another,’ ‘encourage one another,’ ‘minister to one another with your gifts,’ ‘carry one another’s burdens,’ ‘instruct and counsel one another,’ ‘comfort,’ ‘serve,’ ‘forgive,’ ‘be hospitable to one another.’
If you have been through many trials, testings and temptations, you have something worthwhile to share, if you now have victory in your life. Maybe you have been through a painful divorce, the death of a spouse or parent, have become a single parent, been delivered from addiction, lost your job, or moved a lot. You can allow Holy Spirit to use you to mentor or encourage a hurting person, from your position of deep compassion.
“‘The things you learned and received, heard and saw in me, these do,’ Paul wrote the Philippians from jail, (Phillipians 4:9). To the Corinthians he wrote, ‘Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ [the Messiah]’ (I Corinthians 11:1 AMPC).
“One Christian author said, ‘A mentor is someone further down the road from you who is willing to hold the light and help you get there.’(3)
“Last Christmas season I saw a true example of mentorship in a gas station. A man in his 40s, followed by several young kids dressed just like him - all wearing red shirts bearing a church logo - approached my car window. “We want to fill your car,’ he said.
“‘Why?’ I asked.
“‘Because when I was younger a Christian couple named Linda and Skip taught me to do acts of kindness. One Christmas they gave me money to fill up someone’s gas tank. So, I am teaching these young children how to bless others, just like I was taught,’ he said.
“I swallowed hard to keep from crying. I had actually known Skip and Linda for quite some time, and had gone to Skip’s memorial service a few months earlier. What were the chances that my car was being filled with gas because of the influence of a Christian couple - whom I knew - on a young boy years earlier? And all while some younger children were also learning from their acts of kindness. Amazing.
“Jamie Buckingham, in writing to Christians, said: ‘You may not think your field is very important. But God has set you in your field… Most of us don’t realize it, but our influence is much larger than we can imagine—and will continue for generations to come, be it good or evil. It’s a wonderful responsibility. Always remember though, Jesus is ever with you and His Spirit will whisper just the things you need to say and do.’(4)
“Maybe you would like to jot down ways other people have influenced and blessed you. Then, recall ways you were a helpful influencer. Thank God for those priceless occasions! As you do, here are some thoughts to consider:
“Who are some you have intentionally influenced? Perhaps you spoke wisdom into their life, helped them develop a skill, shared your testimony, or taught them the Bible? Maybe you mentored some for years, investing much time with them.
“Who were the people that influenced you, who mentored, encouraged, corrected, advised, or taught you something? What lessons did you learn? What lasting words of encouragement do you cherish? Did you thank them?
“Who were those you never knew but whose acts or achievements greatly influenced you? Who were the somebodies who wrote a book, painted a picture, composed music, taught you a lesson, preached a sermon, or did something so impressive you were profoundly touched? Do you have any heroes of faith? Why not share their stories?(5)
“So, let’s take an active role in influencing others for God! Let’s be among those who help bring in the harvest of souls, and also mentor and influence them for Him. How about let’s start today by praying for and seeking those He wants to put in our path.”
Pray with me:
Father, we ask that You bless those who have made a helpful and significant influence on us. Show us those You would have us influence for Your Kingdom - during this time we are on earth, so that it will count for eternity, Give us divine opportunities and occasions to help others in their walk with You. Equip us to be the encourager You want us to be. May Holy Spirit give us wisdom, understanding, strength and counsel to carry out each assignment from You.
Lord, help us look for opportunities to encourage others, to reach and teach those whom You show us need a touch from You. We desire to be Your hands and feet, speaking hope and victory, and helping those You give us, become all You intended them to be. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
We will move out of our comfort zone, being careful to listen to Holy Spirit and minister His love to others.
Click the link below to watch the video:
John C. Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within You, (Nashville, TN., Thomas Nelson, 1995) p. 2.
Win Couchman, quoted in Dee Brestin, Friendship of Women, (Wheaton, IL:Victor Books, 1989), p. 162.
Jamie Buckingham, The Nazarene, (Ann Arbor, Michigan, Servant Publication, 1991), p. 89.
Quin Sherrer, Cast Your Shadow: Influence On Purpose,( Amazon/Kindle., 2017), p. 199.
Today’s post was contributed by our dear friend, Quin Sherrer. You can learn more about Quin at quinsherrer.com and find her books on Amazon.