|Value Influence Over Image
By Greg Sanders
Galatians 1:10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
You can make an impression or you can create influence…but it is hard to do both. Making an impression is all about making people see you in the best possible light. Influencing people is about inspiring people to see their need for change. That change may be personal or spiritual but what brings them to transformation is showing them something greater than themselves.
Paul writes in Galatians 1:10 that people’s approval is detrimental to the influence God has called him to have. Paul outlines for us the impossible conflict that comes to people when they try to please both God and people equally.
To value your influence over your image you must be willing to:
Disappoint people for the sake of pleasing God. There is an amazing amount of liberty that comes from knowing that your life is about pleasing one person and not every person. This liberty will give you the confidence to live a life that will influence others in unmistakable manner.
Jesus did not please everyone while He walked on earth. Instead, He made it His one aim to please His Father.
Realize that you impart to others what you strive for yourself. Your focus becomes your message. If your goal is pleasing people then those you influence will simply become people pleasers instead of God seekers. There is nothing wrong with making people happy but it must not be your goal if you want to create lasting influence.
Make your convictions obvious to the world. Paul starts this statement with the word obviously. His lifestyle and His words make obvious to everyone around that His life is about something bigger than himself. You do not have to make your life controversial to live by your convictions. Paul did not go looking for arguments; he simply lived out his convictions. Conflicts came, but his aim was to please God by influencing people.
Today’s Challenge: Renew your decision to make your life all about pleasing God first. Choose to please Him even if it means disappointing people. Realize that God has called us to live lives that demonstrate our faith and as we do so, our lives will have lasting influence.