Use Your Influence

Last week I talked about having confidence, which is learning to see yourself the way God sees you. I hope you enjoyed my tale of auditioning to be a Chewbacca, and if you haven’t read it, go do it! Coming off of that story, as well as the idea of learning to see yourself the way God sees you, there is an important aspect that you have the power of doing. The term “influencer” is pretty much become synonymous with people on Instagram who show you the latest trends, with the intention of getting you to buy something. An influencer, influences. That’s a pretty simple statement, but it’s one that we all need to pay attention to.

Every day, we are influencing the people around us, so we can’t miss the opportunity.

I’m not saying this to advocate you selling products to your friends, what I am saying is that you have the ability to use your influence to help others see themselves the way God sees them. Learning to have confidence is important, so why would we not use that influence to help others? When you are kingdom minded, there is no room for pride; start empowering others.

That may mean you aren’t in the spotlight. It may mean you give things away for someone else to run with it. It may mean you actively call out the greatness in someone else, even when they don’t see it themselves.

Using influence is not delegating tasks to others, it’s bringing them alongside of your calling and telling them they are made in God’s image. Delegation is not the goal, empowerment is.

I love working with the next generation, because I believe in them. Whether I’m paid for it or volunteering, I’ve given most of my life helping kids and students that they have been made in the image of God and have a purpose for their lives. Why? Because it’s important, and because there were people in my life that helped me be confident in who I have been created to be.

My fifth-grade small group leader, Ian, helped me see value in being a part of a small group. In middle school, my youth pastor, Marshall told me he saw great things in me, and then chose to bring me alongside him and help people in the community. In high school, Mike D showed me how to live humbly and have a daily walk with Christ, with the intention of growing and not being prideful. Seth helped me see the practical side of ministry, understanding the work that has to happen before the mountaintop moments. My high school teacher, Mrs. Kadlecek told me that I had a voice and was able to influence others because of it. The list goes one, but I am thankful for each of these people and how they influenced seasons of my life.

I don’t keep in touch with each of them because the seasons change and some people are only in our lives for brief moments, but I remember their influence in my life that helped me see the way God saw me and continues to see me.

We need to use our influence.

We need to be waiting for moments to speak life into others.

That means you need to listen to the Holy Spirit when He prompts, and be open to acting on it. Everyone needs encouragement, but not everyone gets it. There are people in our lives that we unintentionally overlook, and those people need your influence too. A lot of times the more extraverted people are praised for their abilities, when there are people around them who feel completely unseen and unheard. Everyone needs to be reminded of the way God sees them, so that they can have the confidence to step into who they have been created to be.

Use your influence top speak life and empower the people you see every day. In using your influence effectively, you create waves that you may never fully understand or see, but you have the chance to change someone’s life by helping them see themselves the way God sees them.

-Joshua Thomas

About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__

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