Welcome to 2019!! How thrilling to begin this new year of promise and possibility!!! We’re here to check in on letter #2 in our acrostic letters for the FINE of Better Than Fine Women. To remind you, “F” was for Free....We shared with you some stories of how we have sought and found freedom in our post about “Free”, check it out if you missed it.
Now let’s take a look at “I” which highlights the fact that each and every one of us is an INFLUENCER. You may not feel like a person of influence at times.... I know when I’m making “mom mistakes” and I sometimes wonder if my influence is a positive one or a negative one with my children, for example. But, the fact is, each of us has a sphere of influence, and each of us is an INFLUENCER within that sphere. A sphere is a circle...that surrounds you. So, all around you, each day, in every environment that you enter, every situation you encounter, you have an opportunity to influence someone.
Influence means “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something”. Capacity is the maximum amount that something can produce. So, your influence is where you can have an effect, and the capacity you have is basically how serious you take each and every opportunity to have an effect on others.
Here are some prompts to help you check on your sphere of influence:
Who are your closest people?
There is this interesting idea of concentric circles, or a series of circles, one small one in the center, then another around that one, then another, then another. Think of that series of circles as your “spheres of influence” by priority and importance. The smallest, innermost circle (maybe, like, the closest one to your heart?) would be your immediate family. The next circle might include more extended family, important friends. Then perhaps the next circle would be co-workers, church acquaintances, people you serve at work or in volunteering, friends from your neighborhood. Then further out, might be people you meet while grocery shopping, or at your children's schools.
Think of these people, in these circles, as the people you might have the potential to influence on any given day, in order of priority.
What can you do to influence other people?
What are your relational habits? What are you good at when relating to others? It could be listening, encouraging, physically serving or helping people, connecting, having empathy for others.
What are your skills, talents, experiences? What kinds of things are you good at that might benefit others? What kinds of things have you gone through that you might be able to relate to another who is going through similar circumstances? Are you funny, are you a great cook, are you a thoughtful person?
How can you influence others?
By listening, talking, sharing, praying (directly with someone or intercessory), sharing unconditional love and encouragement. By showing strength in challenges, or transparency in your weaknesses. By being self-aware of your strengths and shortcomings and being courageous to take a look at them and do what you can to help others do the same.
Where can you be an influencer?
At home, at work, at the park, at the grocery store, at your child’s soccer game, at the gas station, when you see someone in need, when you see someone who doesn’t seem to need anyone, people at church, in your neighborhood, on the road in your car, when standing in a long line waiting, when on the phone with a difficult customer service person.....basically EVERYWHERE!! You can be a person of influence everywhere you go!!
Because you are a treasure in this world, with unique thoughts, experiences, viewpoints and gifts to offer to anyone you encounter, and through everything you do. You are a child of God, created by Him uniquely to touch those in your spheres of influence as only you can do. A favorite scripture I often think about when I am trying to see the value in every small interaction I have with others is: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17)
This tells me that every thought, every word, every action that people receive from me is significant. May you each remember that and be BLESSED by being you, and valuing the opportunities to influence others that are uniquely yours!!
Happy New Year to you!!