What We Do With Our Influence

by Angela Martin

“What if you don’t say anything at this time? Then help for the Jews will come from another place. But you and your family will die. Who knows? It’s possible that you became queen for a time just like this.” Esther 4:14

Influence is the ability or power to change or affect someone or something: the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen.

Women have the ability to influence, either good or bad. In the Bible we see some examples: Deborah was a warrior and judge (Judges 4 & 5), Esther saved her people (Book of Esther), Eve was the first woman (Genesis 1-3), and Mary was Jesus’ mother (Luke 2:1-7). Whether positively or negatively, all of these women were influential.

And so it remains today. As women, we have the power to influence our husbands, our children, our families, our co-workers, our churches, and our communities. Our goal should be to draw closer to Jesus and allow Him to transform us into godly women whose influence brings others toward salvation through Jesus Christ.

Where there are dedicated women, rooted in the things of God and in His Word, I believe there will be healthy families, strong men, confident children and thriving churches. Our mission as a woman is to be all we can be through Christ Jesus.

We desire and pursue growth in spiritual maturity so that we can take God’s love outside of the four walls of the church and into our workplace, schools, the grocery store, and our neighborhoods.

A woman’s attitude can affect the whole atmosphere of her home. I believe that to be true in the church. We can help one another in ways we never thought possible. 1 Corinthians 12:21, “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” Every part of the body is indispensable. The relationships we build and the connecting of each person’s gifts make us indispensable.

Lately, I have been thinking about the power of influence. Who has had influence in your life? Today I am thankful for the influence of godly women. A godly woman leaves a mark on your life. She inspires us. She encourages us. She changes us for the better.

Are we a godly influence like that? Are we inspiring people to fall in love with Jesus? Are we leaving a legacy of influence for Him? Those are questions we should ponder. Let’s ask God to help us today to choose to be a godly influence in the lives of all those around us.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you feel you have influence? Do you focus your influence in specific areas?
  2. What is the difference between trying to change a person (husband, child, co-worker, friend. neighbor) and trying to influence them?
  3. What is an area where your attitude may be influencing someone in a negative way? What is one thing you can do to help change that?
  4. It’s easy to look at other people’s stories and believe that God is writing a greater story. It’s harder to believe that God is doing the same in our own lives—that He wants to join His story to our stories. Do we want God to use us? Can we truly have influence?

What is Influence?

“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” – Galatians 5:7-9

What is influence? The dictionary defines influence as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.”

But a lifetime of experiences has taught me that it is not so easily defined. For Christians, it often seems that God’s greatest moments for us are never for us alone. These pivotal moments in our lives are always about our lives touching the lives of others or someone touching ours. A life touched by God always ends in touching others; whether it be a spouse, brother, co-worker, neighbor or any other relationships, or maybe it is a complete stranger.

This is evident throughout the Bible, where ordinary people are empowered by God to affect the world in extraordinary ways. The fact that 12 men, largely untrained, with sorted pasts could change the world is proof of that statement. It is also proof that we too can influence people whether it be in someone’s inner circle, or in a relationship, in our Northstar Group or with someone we met in the mall. And those people can influence us just as easily when they are members of our inner circle or in our Northstar Group.

So how can we be a Godly influence on those we are in relationships with? Let me share a few general thoughts with you.

1. Pray for the people in the relationship and the relationship in general. 1 Timothy 2:1,8 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people…Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”

2. Walk the walk. Be a Christlike example to others. Titus 2:7 says, In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.  1 Peter 2:12: ”Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

3. By working at the relationship enthusiastically, as to the Lord. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)

4. By faithfully enduring, through God’s power, the inevitable bumps and valleys that come along in any relationship. 2 Corinthians 4: 7-12 says: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

And finally, by loving others. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

These are some of the attributes that enable us to influence others and others influence us.

Discussion Questions:
1. How do your peers influence you? Do you act differently around certain people? Explain.
2. Do your views and opinions influence your friends? Why or why not? How are your beliefs and values respected by your peers?
3. How do you positively influence your friends? How do you negatively influence your friends?
4. Is it difficult to do something that opposes what your friends think that you should do? How do you handle those situations?
5. Pray and ask God that you be a positive Godly influence with those you are in relationships with.