So the Lord brought this passage to my attention a few hours ago, and after reflecting on it for a bit, I have selected it as my verse of the week.
Why, you may wonder? Well, it reminds me that anybody can exert influence – regardless of your gender, ethnicity, income, education level, etc. Influence fundamentally is about how we engage with those around us.
Hear me: Do not confuse influence and power, or influence and authority! These terms are not synonymous by any means, and it’s important to differentiate them in our minds.
I desire to be (and believe that I am) a woman of influence. I try to listen well, be kind, and make my words count when I share them. Generally speaking, people usually listen to what I have to say, and consider it thoughtfully – even if they do not agree. And I try to do the same! However, kindly note that my influence has no specific agenda.
For instance, you are reading this post, and may perhaps even follow this blog – and I thank you. I assure you, though, that my goal was not, and never has been, to garner a bunch of followers; I simply wanted to share my thoughts on hope and read what other bloggers have to say, in hopes that I may learn something and continue to grow. I’m not selling or advertising anything, and rarely ask you for anything (the “call to action” that each post is supposed to contain, right?). In the traditional sense, I probably am not the world’s most expert blogger – especially since I stopped looking at my stats a long time ago!
No, I simply enjoy the open and respectful exchange of ideas, sans an agenda. My goal is not to convince you of anything, or even persuade you to receive my point of view. No, I must remember that only the Lord can change the heart of man! I must stay in my lane.
And to me, this is the very epitome of influence.
Authority and power are different. I think they are given to you by another, and can be taken away just as quickly, too. So I’m not too interested in these concepts, as I find that biblical influence is God-enabled, and gives me all that I need.
Am I rich? No. Am I powerful? No. Am I influential? Yes. In my own way. In a way that honors God (or that is my aim). I am far from perfect, but I do try to live a life that pleases Him.
And if you’re wondering how you also can be a person of influence, simply follow the advice that Solomon offers in Proverbs 22:11 – love others sincerely, and be gracious with your speech. Then leave the rest up to God and watch what happens! 💛