Joseph Wong says, “influence is our inner ability to lift people up to our perspective.” I recently had a conversation with my manager at work regarding the topic of influence. She asked me if I knew that I had influence with my co-workers. I didn’t really think I did, because I am so used to being influenced by other people. Growing up being the youngest in my family, I always looked up to somebody, whether it was my family or older friends. Hearing my boss tell me that I was being looked up to by a few of my co-workers came as a shock to me. It really showed me that people are watching me, and are taking what I do and applying it to their way of doing things.
Influence is so powerful. I am a firm believer that in order to gain influence, you have to be positively influenced by someone else. It is a chain reaction, essentially. In order for us to reach out to help someone, we need to make sure we are being helped and coached along properly. Even in Scripture, Jesus knew He was the Son of God. He knew that He had major influence, yet He didn’t seek to glorify Himself with that. Instead, He sought to build up other people, that they may in turn build up more people.
My mom would always tell me, “Ryan be on your best behavior because you don’t know who is watching and mimicking your every move.” This really hit me earlier last week because I noticed my co-workers taking things that I said in interactions with customers, and applying it to their vocabulary in their interactions. Hearing that people looked to me as an example was so gratifying, yet challenging. It shows me that I can’t take my influence for granted, and that I need to constantly be learning and growing so that I can help someone else.
In our walk with Christ, we are to learn from Jesus’ example and model it in our daily lives. God calls us to “go into the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). When we follow this charge, we are using our God given influence to be an example of love to the world. I challenge us all, to sit under someone more seasoned in life than us, and in turn to influence someone younger than us, that we may cause a chain reaction of growth. If not us, than who else??