I like the word “influence” as you probably do too. I want more of it. It’s why Christians are left on earth after being saved and not drafted instantly into heave – so we can influence others to follow Christ. But I see a trend within our culture of downsizing the value of influence.
We now assume that if a lot of people follow you on Twitter or if you hit the limit of “friends” on Facebook, you have influence. Really? If a Hollywood celebrity has 5 million followers on a social network and sends and update that they are prepping for tonight’s show, millions of people will read that update, and then they’re going to… go on with life.
Being popular isn’t bad. Some people with large followings use the power of that influence to get people to vote, to build clean water wells in third world countries, or to save another dog from being euthanized. All good causes and worthy uses of actual influence.
Within Christianity, we need to understand that our influence can matter for eternity. I can show you a picture of my day at the beach and brighten your moment. I can get you to give for clean wells and you’ll change someone’s health situation. But I can also tell you about Jesus and His willingness to forgive all of our sins on the basis of His death, burial, and resurrection, and I can change your eternity.
I’m glad you want more influence. If you’re a Christian, you need to realize that you are not your own. You are bought with a price, so your influence belongs to God. Therefore the end of it is an eternal purpose. Even if you’re not a believer, you still decide whether your popularity will be squandered in frivolity or used to change your world somehow.
I just wonder if we realize what a gold mine influence is. I want more of it, but I want God to be the One to decide I’m ready for it. I want to prove faithful in the little things and trust God to expand my influence so that eternity is impacted and heaven is filled.
You probably want more influence too… but to what end?