Chapter #4, Influence: Breathe In, Breathe Out

19 07 2007

chasing daylight

“This is the essence of influence, to win the heart and soul of another person through the strength of your own character and personhood. This is why influence is always more powerful than authority. Authority can shape what a person does, but influence shapes who a person is.” p. 109

Why did the disciples leave everything and follow Jesus 2000 years ago? What did they see in him? Did they follow him just because he said “follow me”? Did they follow him so they could get to heaven? Or fear of punishment if they didn’t follow? Did they follow him because of his authority, title, miracles, or his position? I don’t think so. They followed him because of his influence in their lives. They followed him, because they found in Jesus someone who was different than any other person they had ever met. They saw in him someone who built relationships not on duty or obligation, but unconditional love and forgiveness. When they got close to him, they saw the real deal. Not religion, but a man who lived out of an authentic relationship with his heavenly father. He invited them to to authentically walk with him. He earned their trust and won their hearts.

BREATHE IN…Brennan Manning tells the story of an Irish priest who, on a walking tour of a rural parish, sees an old peasant kneeling by the side of the road, praying. Impressed, the priest says to the man, “You must be very close to God.” The peasant looks up from his prayers, thinks a moment, and then smiles, “Yes, HE’S very fond of me.” I’ve been living with that thought the last few weeks and letting it sink deep in my soul. “He’s very fond of me.” It’s not about duty, it’s about his love for me. I’ve experienced a new freedom in how I live each moment. I’m not talking about intellectually knowing it, but relationally experiencing Jesus each day of my life.

BREATHE OUT…When people get close to me, what do they see? Do people experience unconditional love and forgiveness from me? Do they see in me duty to God or one who lives out of an joyful relationship with Christ? Do they see the real deal? And who are they becoming by because of my influence in their life? Am I even open to let people get close enough to see the real me?

Live the adventure!

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