The Battle for Influence
I’ve been reading Matthew Barnett’s book “The Cause Within You” and stumbled upon this gem yesterday:
“Whoever shows up most in a person’s life wins the battle for influence.”
Wow. I love this quote, because it can apply to so many different scenarios. He was using it in the context of ministry, and how simply being there for someone can give you credibility with them so that they eventually trust you. He encouraged us to be steadfast in our relationships with those we hope to reach with God’s love, because people only respond to you once they know you’re going to stick around.
Pondering this quote got me thinking of the other ways it could be applicable, though. The first one that came to mind was in parenting. I think a lot of us worry about our kids growing up and coming into bad influences that would shape their destinies against the causes of Christ. I applied this quote to that and realized just how true it is. My kids are going to be influenced by others, but I am with them all the time – loving on them, encouraging them to discover God for themselves, and praying with and for them. I won’t hand off my influence to TV, the internet, or other kids. I want the influence I have in my children’s lives to be one that outlasts all others.
Another practical application of this quote is in friendships. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to meet someone who truly understands the importance of being a faithful friend. I have lots of acquaintances, many friends, but only a handful of close friends. One of the biggest differentiating factors between them? Plain old consistency. Because of their faithfulness to stick around, they have earned a place of influence in my life. And, yes, I did say earned. Not in some haughty, over-lording, entitled way, but because we are wise to truly decipher the durability of our friends before we allow them a place of any sort of influence over us.
What other ways can you see this quote coming into play? At the workplace? In your extended family? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share below!