Of course many of us probably don’t even think that we have an area of influence but every single person in the world has one. From the moment we are conceived we are influencing the lives of others. For much of the beginning of that influence we are not aware or even able to create a sense of presence and yet at a very young age all of us learned how to use our voices and our actions to get a response from our siblings and our parents – and (were the truth to be told) anyone who was willing to pay attention to us.
From the time we are small children we have figured out how to manipulate our parents into getting what we want. Some of it is taught but much of it is instinct and as we grow into our school age years we may have learned a lot from the people who have been raising us. Some of that is good and some of it is not because, as many of us know, parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world.
As we well know, many children today aren’t raised by parents as much as they are raised by day care providers and then it’s school that becomes a major influence on the life of a child.
But I digress…this isn’t about how we came to know how to influence the world around us it is about how we inadvertently affect the world around us without even realizing it. How we show up anywhere makes a difference. The way we walk into a group, an office or a grocery store makes a difference in the atmosphere of the space. We can leave those within the space better or worse or unchanged by how we choose to show up.
A pastor of a church affects a congregation by the way they choose to show up for a sermon on a Sunday morning. How often have you been asked what the pastor preached last Sunday – or even yesterday since today is Monday – and you can’t recall what the message was about? I personally need a pastor that is going to leave an impression on me that will be lasting. I want to learn and grow and become a better believer and person by listening to the pastor on Sunday. If we leave unchanged or unable to remember what was preached upon why are we even there? Because the Bible says to not forsake the assembling of the brethren? Because our family goes to that church?
In the same way a boss affects the atmosphere of an office in the way they choose to show up. A leader leads more by what they do than by what they say. A leader should be someone that inspires those they are leading to be better. A leader should inspire others to be a positive influence in the world around them and when this is done in an office, the whole atmosphere is changed by the way the every employee is encouraged and inspired by the whole.
The ripple effect that we have on the world is pretty important. Some people are born with an innate sense of how to read a room and how to create a positive atmosphere. Others have to learn it and many don’t care enough about the people around them to make how they show up a part of their make up. People bumble through life leaving destruction in their wake without a care in the world for how they have hurt any who got into our path.
As a believer we are all ambassadors of Christ. Being an ambassador means that we represent Jesus in this world. So it is part of the believers job to be cognizant of how they affect the people in their lives – from the mail carrier to the grocery clerk, family members to co workers. We may be the only Jesus someone sees in a lifetime or a day and if we show up gritchy and without love, unappreciative and pompous, we have damaged Gods character.
As we go about our lives, every single day we are blessed to be Jesus in the market place. Where ever that takes us or however that is played out, we all have the power to make a persons day by how we pay attention and/or interact with the people who just happen to be around us.
It’s important for us to remember whose we are and how that needs to make a difference in how we show up in our lives. That shouldn’t make us cringe it should inspire us to be more mindful of how we show up throughout our day. Certainly there are going to be moments of disappointment and anger and sadness but in the day to day normalcy of life, hopefully the love we have for Jesus is strong enough to inspire us to be like Him in all that we do and with all whom we meet.
1 Corinthians 13 – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.