The Choice You Have With Your Influence

A leader once taught me what he called the “Number on your back principle.” The principle is this: 
Often times, we don’t have a choice over who we influence, but we do have a choice over how we influence them

For example, Sydney Crosby is the best hockey player in the world, because of this, he has influence of millions of people, regardless of whether or not he wants to. The question is, what will he do with that influence?

If a group of raging ten-year old fans see him in public and run up to him and ask him for autographs, how he reacts matters. In those moments, he establishes whether or not he is going to use his influence to make the world a better place.

Are moments like this convenient for him? Probably not. However, if he knows the power of his influence, he’ll use his influence for good, regardless of the cost.


So, let’s say you’re not the greatest hockey player in the world. How does this relate to you?

Ask yourself, “How do you use the influence you have been given at this moment in my life?”

Notice the question isn’t, “How do you become an influence?” but “how do you use the influence you have been given?”

You influence someone. You may influence a lot of people. How many people you influence isn’t important. In fact, I’ve found that if you are a good steward of the influence you have, God will give you more influence. In contrast, if you’re a poor steward of your influence, God will take your influence away.Influence isn’t about filling a stadium full of raging fans. It’s about making a difference in the lives of the individuals God brings right in front of you. Ask yourself:

  • When you see someone you know that would love to talk to you while you’re grocery shopping, in your neighborhood, at church, or at Starbucks, do you duck and hide or do you engage them?
  • When you have an opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life, but you realize it will require a lot of time and sacrifice  what do you choose to do?

Your answers to these questions matter. These are the moments that can change someones live forever! Influence is a wonderful thing to have, but it comes with a price. The price of responsibility. The price of sacrifice. The price of choosing to use your influence for good, even when you don’t feel like it.

Bottom line: Your influence matters, use it to make the world a better place. It may not always be convenient, but if it is used correctly, it will always make a difference.


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