Most of us want to influence the lives of the people around us. We want to impact people with our thoughts, dreams, and beliefs. The problem with that is we open ourselves up for others to cast judgment on our opinions & actions.
Criticism is the cost of influence.
From 8:15am-5pm, I work among a collective of cubicles for an enormous organization. This occurs all the time. Our executives decide to move forward [or NOT move forward] with some sort of initiative. Within a day or so, there are over 3,500 different opinions that are cast because of the decisions made revolving around health insurance or technological advancements.
This happens incessantly online. We post a status update on Facebook or tweet something on Twitter… almost instantly, people begin to affirm your idea/action with a “like” or “retweet”. Sometimes, people pipe up & disagree with your status and/or add their own two cents on the matter. Or even worse, no one reacts to your virtual voice. You go unnoticed. Silence can be one of the loudest forms of criticism.
Whatever response you might receive from the thoughts you share or the things you do, we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable to capture that opportunity to influence others. In some critical cases, the information you have to share could mean life or death for people. I believe that the lives we live hold eternal consequences — for yourself & those around you.
This is a pivotal point within the dichotomy as a Christian.
When it comes to expressing our core beliefs, we fear the fact that the bar will be raised. We can no longer fly under the radar & live up to low expectations that might be held by folks around us. Well, it might be true that people will dissect your words/actions/attitude a little more than usual. It’s true that there will be instances where you don’t fit the mold that folks typically assume Christian people to maintain… but there lies a wonderful opportunity for your peers to re-think their preconceived notions regarding Christianity because of your willingness to step out & speak up.
Grace is absolutely key in all of this. We aren’t called to promote our ideals from a slant of condemnation for those that disagree, but — on the contrary — our purpose for proclaiming our passions in life should stem from a heart of love that is ultimately sharing the hope that we have found with a great desire to see others consider our values as their own. This, in turn, creates influence.
We all risk the chance of being mocked for an idea or a dream that we hold dear to our heart. That is the price that we pay to impact people’s lives. Consider the cost & decide if its worth it. If Jesus is part of the equation, then it probably is…
What are some roadblocks that keep you from stepping out in hopes of influencing others?
What sort of approaches work for you when it comes to effectively impacting your culture?
*** P.S. Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you think that this could benefit your circle of friends, please use the social buttons below & share it with others. I appreciate your support & encouragement. God bless. ~A