Ignite Your Influence!
“Everyone is a leader because everyone influences someone.” John C. Maxwell.
This is one of my favorite all time quotes due to the truth that is behind it. Several years back I was in a Bible study and the topic of influence came up and I quoted Maxwell’s statement about how everyone influences someone. However, I added to what he said. I said, “Everyone influences someone and you either influence them for the good or for the bad. There is someone watching you weather you realize it or not.” Now, I don’t remember if I had read that somewhere or if I heard someone else say that, but it doesn’t really matter. The truth is, what I said was true. I have people who are watching me, even when don’t know they are watching me. The way I live my life influences those who are around me. My children are watching me close and I am influencing them in how they should live their lives. I know that my neighbors, my co-workers, my congregation and a host of others are watching my life, especially since I am a pastor. I try to live my life as to leave a positive influence on those around. Often times, as much as I try, I fail and fail miserably at that. Then there are times that God blesses me by showing me how I have influenced someone life in a positive way and I didn’t realize how I’ve impacted them.
This happened this past week. A couple of years ago I was introduced to a young Christian rap artist named Brandon but goes by the name YB. We met several times and I have been to a couple of his events where he has performed and we have talked several times. He just finished his latest project and sent me a copy of his new EP called Clarity. As I listened to it, I read the back of the EP. That is when I read his credits and appreciations. YB wrote this: “Also, want to thank Josh Steed and Jacob Ricker. You guys have impacted my life in so many ways and I just want to say thank you for your obedience unto Christ.” I was completely humbled and still am. After I read what he wrote, I messaged him and thanked him and told him that I didn’t feel like I had done anything to deserve a thank you. All I had done was try to encourage him to keep his eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and to keep using the gifts God has given him to serve Christ! He responded that God had used me in a mighty way to impact his life. I had been an influence in his life with realizing it at all.
It just so happens that on the same morning before I talked to YB I had been reading in Acts 11 where the church at Jerusalem had sent Barnabas to Antioch. Luke writes in verses 23 & 24: “When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.” Did you see that? He encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. As I sat there after talking with YB, I realized that God was showing me how He can use me to influence others by how I live my life and through encouraging people.
John Maxwell was right… Everyone influences someone. It is also true that you will either influence them for the good or for the bad. I hope that I have influenced more people for the good than the bad in my life. I can only pray that God shows me how to be more impactful in the lives around me. There are so many ways that we can encourage and impact those around us. Acts 13:15 says: “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it.” Encouraging people is just one way to influence and to impact those who are watching you. There are so many different ways to influence people around for good! How you live your life might be the greatest influence that you have to those around you!
How are you influencing/impacting those around you?
I encourage you to check out YB on his Facebook page and check out his EP Clarity.