How Far Will Your Influence Go?

There are some specific things that I have heard over the years that stick in my mind. They make me think about them and ponder them for a long time. One of these is about influence. 

influencers-3151032_640photo by ElisaRiva courtesy of Pixabay.

I heard a pastor speaking about the final judgment. He said people will be judged not just by their works but by the influence they had on others. He spoke about how some people’s influence will last generations and affect thousands or millions of people. I have thought about that a lot.

We all have a level of influence in others’ lives. Maybe it is our family’s, the people we work around, the students we teach, our friends; we will influence them. There are times in our lives when we will have greater influence than at other times.

When we are given a public platform of one kind or another, our influence grows. Whether we are a speaker, writer, actor, or a pastor, we begin to influence a greater amount of people than before. We need to think about that, because with influence comes responsibility and ultimately accountability before God. We can influence people in a positive direction or in a negative one.

If we are a writer, think about Mein Kampf. How many people has it influenced over the decades, and what did people do with that influence? How many millions of lives were taken because people read that book and believed what it said? Conversely, what is the most positive book you have ever read? How did it influence you and change your thinking? Were you able to apply that positive influence into your own life?

As writers we will write thousands or millions of words that others will read. What kind of influence are we having over the people that read them? Are we leading them in a positive or negative direction? Are we writing things solely for our own ends or material enrichment? Do we really care about the people reading the things we write? We need to think about it and not just blow it off casually, it really does matter.

Influence…we all have it. The question is, “What are we going to do with it?”

21 thoughts on “How Far Will Your Influence Go?

  1. I remember reading a transcript of a conversation between Lyndon Johnson and George Wallace in the Oval Office. LBJ, with the predictable crude language, was dismissing Wallace’s lame excuses for not letting more African Americans vote in Alabama. LBJ then the Governor if Wallace wanted people to remember him as a person who hated or as one who loved.

    Influencing people to act out of love and respect is always positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Valerie and true more so these days, especially with social media and the readily available platforms to communicate with people globally.

    I try always to write from the heart and objectively, whether good or bad as I like my readers to get a taste of what I experienced when travelling to a destination – unlike some travel bloggers that portray life on the road as always rosy. Either they’ve had incredible good luck, or, not divulging the hick-ups.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising, but believe if we’re presenting information to an audience especially that we don’t know, it should be true – unless it’s a novel of course. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I totally agree with you. When I was talking about the negative, I wasn’t talking about the negative parts of life. Those are realities we must all deal with. I was talking about writing that encourages others to hate one another, attack one another and distrust others, or perhaps encourage others to take steps in a negative direction (drugs, porn, etc.). I was talking about the influence we have on others’ lives, for the positive or negative. Thanks so much for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You asked the question: “Do we really care about the people reading the things we write? We need to think about it and not just blow it off casually, it really does matter.”

    I can’t answer for anyone else, but I will answer for myself. Yes, I care deeply about the people who read what God gives me to write each day. And, I think very deeply concerning the influence I might have over their lives, one way or another. And, that is why I pray for God’s guidance and counsel and direction in what I write, because I want what I write to be from him and not from me, and to be true to the Word of God, and not based on my own opinion.

    I take this very seriously, and that is why I am being honest, and being true to who I am and to who God made me to be. And, that is why I will speak the truth in love even at the risk of people hating me or rejecting me or judging me falsely or taking me to task for what I have written. I don’t write my own thoughts, only as the Lord encourages me to share from my own experiences what he has taught me. And, I don’t write to gain followers or to get likes, for I know that what God has me write each day will probably get me more “dislikes” than likes.

    Today, in particular, I am feeling very deeply passionate about what God is teaching me and what he is having me share, and I am very deeply moved with concern for the people of this world and for those who profess the name of Jesus, and for my family members, that they all know Jesus, and that they all walk in truth and in holiness and in sincerity and purity of devotion to Jesus Christ. And, I am deeply concerned for my nation, too, and for its people to obey God today, for I see this nation of ours plummeting morally and spiritually, in a free fall.

    Liked by 1 person

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