Three Ways You Can Squander Your Influence
Our influence is temporary
It was given to us by God
It can be taken away
One day we will give an account for how we used it
This blog series has looked at leadership principles and influence from several different perspectives. As ministry wives, we have been entrusted with a platform of influence. We want to do it well! One of the mantras of this series is that if we want to be an effective leader, we must be purposeful. That simply means that we are aware of this holy call on our lives and work diligently to steward it well. On the flip side, we waste our opportunities of influence when we…
- Close ourselves off from people outside of our own family and closest friends. Because of the demands of life and ministry, we can neglect to cultivate relationships with those outside of our immediate circle. Ironically, as our circle of acquaintances grows, often our circle of those closest to us can shrink. At best, this is a result of busyness. At worst, however, it can be a result of just not caring. Pay attention to what is happening in your church family and your community. One of the reasons God made social media (some would challenge that!) is to give a quick overview of others’ lives. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep”, Rom. 12:15. It takes so little to voice your encouragement or concern but can carry such weight with others. Isolation never lends itself to leadership.
- Yield to cynicism. Always be suspicious that people have an ulterior motive or are wanting to use you in some way. Cynicism focuses on the worst in people, never the best, and is a joy destroyer. Yes, it is true people occasionally take advantage of us or betray our trust in some way. True, many of our expectations of life have not been met. Welcome to adulthood, it happens to everyone, certainly not just those in ministry. The danger of cynicism is that the distrust we feel towards others leads to a default stance of always thinking the worst about people. Stephen Colbert observed, “Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it.” This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be knowledgeable about human nature, but to remember Jesus’ words, “…be wise as serpents and gentle as doves” (Matt. 10:16).
- Regularly schedule “Poor Little Me” pity parties, indulging in self-pity or self-condemnation for all you are not. Believe the lie that you have nothing to offer and are totally inadequate. Someone once said “Self-pity tends to distort, like a fun-house mirror.” At its root, it posits that a mean God is intentionally withholding good from us. It’s also the root of just about every other sin of self-indulgence. I have had some of the finest pity parties ever held, and have learned that they are exhausting and fruitless.
Andy’s quote carries a sense of urgency. We don’t have time to waste. Jesus’ parable of the talents illustrates this principle perfectly
(Matt. 25: ). It does not matter
What are some other ways we might squander our influence?