I remember my first Christmas performance. I was in kindergarten and we sang, “Oh, Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree.” I don’t even remember the words to that song anymore, and it’s not my favorite carol. But, there was something about standing on stage and singing for my parents that got me all fired up!
I don’t remember a lot about that night, but do you know what I do remember? Being sad that we had to leave before I got see the other kids perform. I wanted to hear the first graders sing their song. And what were the sixth graders going to sing?
I still don’t have a clue because my parents hightailed it out of there before I had a chance to take a bow. Now that I’m a parent and have kids of my own, I totally understand why we left (as I type this, Brody has a school performance tomorrow evening and I cannot wait to sneak out when he sings the last word).
I learned a lot about stages, platforms and the spotlight during my kindergarten debut. It didn’t take long to realize stages are meant to elevate whoever is standing on them so that they’re seen by everyone in the audience.
But you have to be careful ….
Stages used for entertainment are one thing, but how about to influence others? In our human nature, we want to elevate ourselves … place ourselves in a higher position than someone else so that we can be seen.
This battle goes back to the garden of Eden when the serpent told Eve she could be like God if she ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We all struggle for the stage in one way or another.
And in the world we live in today, we all have a platform to spew our opinions, give advice, share other people’s opinions and advice, or put our best foot forward. It’s called social media.
What’s your stage?
You may not be preparing to belt out some lines from your favorite Christmas song, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a stage.
When I signed up for a “business” page on Instagram, there was an option to choose influencer. I rolled my eyes and laughed. Really? In order to be considered an influencer you have to choose that option on Instagram?
I beg to differ.
I am a firm believer that we don’t have to go and look for ways to influence others. And if we are, that’s not genuine. True influence begins with a changed life and then ripples of influence go beyond us to those around us.
Influence on social media is secondary.
A few weeks ago, I told some ladies in one of the Bible studies I facilitate that my husband and my boys are the most important people in my life. I should love them first and influence them to follow God before anyone else.
If I only use social media as a stage to influence the world, it’s not real. I want my boys to see my social media posts and know that what I show of my life there aligns with who I am as I live my life in front of them.
That’s real influence.
You are an influencer!
Don’t forget that you have great influence! And you don’t need a stage or a platform to be taken serious. Your life is a stage. How you live and what you show others has more influence than anything else you do.
Don’t forget that.
And as you live this life, I want you to remember a few things about influence that can become a snare if we’re not careful:
- Influencing others from a heart of love doesn’t seek recognition. Don’t do what you do to be recognized.
2) You’ll know when you’re influencing others genuinely because they will naturally follow you. They’ll ask you for advice or want to be like you in your relationships, marriage, parenting, or successes.
3) Don’t look for validation, approval or a platform to influence others for good. You already have one, remember? It’s your life!
If you can keep these things in mind as you seek to be an influence for good, you’ll make a huge impact.
An Unlikely Influencer
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, she wasn’t what any of us would call a good influence. She made mistakes. She was married five times and the man she was living with wasn’t her husband.
What a mess!! An influencer? Not a chance!!
But Jesus came to her and revealed who He was. He told her He could change her life and she believed Him. Not only did she believe Him, but she immediately went back into her town and told her neighbors about this man who changed her life.
In other words, she became an influencer. She didn’t seek out a stage or start a social media account. She let her changed life speak for her and do you know what her neighbors did?
They came. They saw. And they followed Him.
I’m In the Audience
Don’t worry about the impact you’re making in life. I know we all want to do great things and leave our mark, but if it’s not genuine it won’t change the world.
I will never stop telling others they are influencers. And just like I wanted to stay at my Christmas program and watch all the other students sing their songs, I want to watch you live your life of impact for Jesus.
I want to sit in the audience and cheer when you hit the highs and encourage you when you hit the lows. Because they will happen, but how you handle it and how you live will influence others to follow you as you follow Christ.
My challenge for you today is to go to the Lord and ask Him to evaluate your heart. Tell Him your desire to impact others. He is the one who gives you the “stage”.
And while you’re at it, listen to this week’s episode on Her Faith Inspires titled, “You Don’t Need A Stage For This”. It’s all about influence and how you can make an impact right where you are.
And so, my friend, I hope you’re ready to go out and change the world. And you don’t have to push the “influencer” button to do it.
You got this!
For this week’s podcast episode: You Don’t Need a Stage for this, click here.
To listen on iTunes, click here.