Over the weekend I glanced back over a book I had once read. The book is by my friend, Pastor Karen Jethroe. As I read I was reminded of one part that has remained with me since first reading this book. It was the part about influence.
Pastor Karen gave a definition of this word, influence. It was simple, but it opened a new conversation between God and me.
Her book says this; Influence is the power to change or affect someone or something: the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen.
I just love this! I especially love the part that says, without directly FORCING them to happen.
Oh, as a Mom and a Nana, I can so relate to this! There have been times when I wanted something in my daughter to change. I could see it needed to change. Yet, the more I tried to force it to change, the worse it became. Can any of you Mom’s and Dad’s relate? I bet you can!
It has taken me many years, but I have learned to truly let go and give it to God.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 says; Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
James 1:4 says; But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
I have learned that patience plays a big part in being a person of influence. In being a person who has the power to bring change without forcing it.
I have learned to be patient when I see people who I feel need to change certain things. I have learned to keep my mouth shut entirely until God tells me to speak. Why? When I wait entirely on God, He goes before me and paves the way. He prepares the heart. Then, and only then, the words I speak are received.
Years ago, a friend of mine felt she should correct another friend of mine. And she did. Her way of correcting was forceful and harsh. It was not received well at all. Those two people are no longer friends. It was sad to me. The one friend was correct about what the other was doing wrong. But, her delivery was so judgmental and harsh it was not well received. It immediately put the other person on the defense. It brought division, hurt and anger. It was never repaired.
One of the keys to becoming a person of influence is the right deliverance. If you feel you must say something, do it correctly. If you come across as religious or judgmental, it will not be well received.
Additionally, you must wait on the timing of the Lord. I have learned timing is vital. The time to correct someone is not when they are anxious or upset. It is not when they are in the midst of a crisis. It is when they are calm and open to receive. I have learned, as I wait on God voice, I can hear him say “now is the time, speak.” Then it is always well received. When it is received, no one is hurt or angry.
Wait for him to give you the words to say. He knows the words that will reach that person’s heart. He knows what they have already been thinking. When you have the words and the timing, speak. Speak with love and concern. As you do, you will be heard and received.
Ephesians 4:15 says; speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:14 says; do all things in love.
If correction is your motivator, I would stop and seek God before I spoke. If love is your motivator, you are walking in the love of God. Let love lead you. Allow wisdom to guide you and wait for God’s timing. If you do these things, you will become a person of influence.
“Today, remind God of His word and wrestle with it until you see it come to pass – if you stand on His word, it will not fail.” KP