Intentional Influence: The Flow

Sunday, May 08, 2011 Posted by Anitra Elmore

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circular glowI’m fascinated by words. I suppose it started in high school when a very special teacher offered me a grueling introduction to etymology, and showed me that there’s much more to most words than what we see at first glance.

Take the word “influence,” for instance. It’s dictionary definition is pretty straight forward:

influence [in-floo-uhns] n. 1. the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.

Phrases like “power,” “compelling force” and “produce effects” paint a pretty clear picture, but when we dig a little deeper, and find that “influence” is derived from the Latin word, influentem, which means “to flow into,” it’s like viewing the picture in HD*. (*This could mean High Definition or His Discernment, you decide.)

So, I have to ask, whose powerful, compelling force are you allowing to flow into you, and what effects is it producing? And, because I’m pretty nosy, I’m also wondering who you’re flowing into and what effects you’re producing in them.

You see, we spend our life time in a cycle of influencing and being influenced. Our choices are often the result of someone else’s influence and those same choices inevitably influence others. This cycle is way too often unintentional—we don’t think much about being influenced and we aren’t deliberate enough in our influence of others. This week, we’ll abandon this lazy passive approach and become intentional in our influence as followers of Christ. I hope you’ll face the task with eyes wide-open. Let’s make sure that what’s flowing into us is worth passing on.

Check back in tomorrow to be infected with the Influence Flu…

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established.” Proverbs 4:24, 25


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