Influence (Part 1)

Anyone that is good or bad you can trace back to the influences in their lives.” -Byron Broger

In light of all of the current tragedies, I can’t help but to reflect on the power of influence. I was at a conference and and listened to Byron Broger give an entire talk on the influence that books have on people. In his talk he said:

The people you admire most and who lead and shape culture are those that read deeply and read widely. Bin Ladin wasn’t just a bad guy, he just read bad books… Anyone that is good or bad you can trace back to their influences in their lives. Ideas matter… they grow legs and then they influence culture!”

The Power of Your Influences

“Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.”

What influences you? 

Books, Talks, Music, TV, and Movies – These have more influence over us than we think. Keith Moore warns that when you open yourself up to these things, you’re not only opening yourself up to entertainment. You’re opening yourself up to whatever is in the hearts and souls of the men and women that produced them. Whatever had influences them, whether good or bad, will end up influencing you.

Millions of dollars have been spent researching whether or not viewing violent or sexual content leads to violent behavior and sexual deviance. There is no need for this research, there is absolutely a correlation between what people allow into their hearts and minds through these influences and the way they live.

Take some time and answer these questions honestly:

  • What books are you reading?
  • What shows do you watch?
  • What speakers do you listen to?
  • What music do you listen to?

Mentors/Heroes -This can be anybody we look up to and aspire to be like. It can be a family member, friends, a teacher, a pastor, an author, even a fictional character. I have found that this category matters more than all of the others because we will read the same books, listen to the talks, watch and listen to the shows and programs that our heroes do.

  • Who do you look up to? 
  • Who do you aspire to be like? 
  • Who are you surrounding yourself with? 

The men and women who do the greatest good for the world, have the right books, speakers, music, friends, and heroes influencing them. However, it’s also true that the men and women who do the most harm in the world have the wrong books, speakers, music, friends, and heroes influencing them.

Jesus said, “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.” I would urge you to carefully consider who and what you are allowing to influence you.

Are the influences in your life making you the best version of you that you can be? Are they making the world a better place? If not, I would strongly urge you to get rid of those influences in your life. Replace them with the best possible influences you can find.

Who and what you allow to influence you matters more than you can imagine. 


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