Yes, you are – we all are – whether we want to be or not.
Some people enjoy the spotlight and their abilities to influence others. Some people would prefer to be safely in the background and would rather not believe they have any influence over anyone or anything.
But, the fact is, we are all influencers, so the question is, what kind of an influencer are you?
I believe that most of us probably view ourselves as a good influence on others. But it can be easy to see ourselves very differently than how others see us. We may think that we come across as someone that is positive and that our good morals are reflected to all that come in contact with us. In reality, we may unintentionally say and do things that are viewed as unkind, arrogant or judgemental. In that case our hope for a more positive influence is definitely overshadowed.
Here is a passage from the devotional I read today: “Studies show that if you put several people of normal emotional state into a room with an agitated person, they all become more agitated. Put them in a room with a depressed person and they all become more depressed. And if you put them in a room with a person overflowing with joy they become happier. That’s because strong emotional states are contagious. In an otherwise neutral environment, stronger feelings affect people with milder ones.” (Chris Tiegreen)
To me, that was a bit unsettling. However, it does reflect the importance of the kind of people that we allow into our own personal world. We may normally be a strong, decisive person that believes we would not permit someone else to pollute our thoughts and actions. But it apparently may not be as difficult to do as we would think. We should be very cautious about the potential influencers in our lives.
“Be with wise men and become wise. Be with evil men and become evil.” Proverbs 13:20 TLB
“‘…bad company corrupts good character.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33b NLT
“Do not even associate with a man given to angry outbursts; Or go [along] with a hot-tempered man, Or you will learn his [undisciplined] ways And get yourself trapped [in a situation from which it is hard to escape]”. Proverbs 22:24-25 AMP
As Christians, we have a unique role to play as influencers in this world. Of course, as fallible humans, we cannot expect that we will always be “up” – that person overflowing with so much joy that everyone around us becomes happier. There will be those days that we are that agitated or depressed person; and, on those days we are in need of a positive influence in our lives. But we can reduce the number of those “down days” by keeping our hearts and minds full of the peace of Christ. “Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15 TLB) After all, Christ is the ultimate positive influencer!
Matthew 5:14-15 AMP explains clearly our role as influencers: “‘You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.’”
My hope is that I will daily work toward having the peace of God reign in my heart and mind. Then as I associate with others I will hopefully be an influencer that makes them happier.
Written by Karran Martin
September 1, 2021