You influence at home, and in your circle of contacts—at work or school,
formally or informally. At the most basic level, influence is leadership. And as a leader you have a choice. You can choose to divide, conquer and rule over people. Or you can choose to unite, build, and serve.
You Have a Choice:
Divide, Conquer, and Rule
Unite, Build, and Serve
Right now I see a deadly tactic being used successfully in our country—sowing seeds of fear and division in order to conquer and rule. It's everywhere. People are being coaxed apart and many do not even realize it. Everyone is encouraged to take sides—as though someone who thinks differently is the enemy and someone to be attacked. Even "false enemies" are being created to divide people, and Americans are falling for it!
I would expect this to happen in the world. But I also see it in the church, and this should not be!
We can choose. Instead of being influencers who divide, conquer and rule, let's grow into servant-leaders who unite, build, and serve.
As Christians, we are to be united in Christ.
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with
Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the
Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete
by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and
of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your
own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
We have different ideas and options. Conflict is not bad, it just IS. God has designed each of us uniquely. We are different because each of us is one of a kind. We see life differently because we have different values and passions. We will naturally have different opinions on all kinds of things!
We do not have to all think alike. Unity does not mean "sameness." The beauty of unity is that we are called to value each other; to celebrate each person's strengths, and to work together. As Christ-followers, let's determine to embrace people in spite of differences, and handle conflict in a heathy way.
People - flesh and blood - are not the enemy! We have an enemy who comes to steal and kill and destroy—To steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our unity. Let's put our "spiritual glasses on" to recognize who the real enemy is and take appropriate action.
Paul told the Ephesians:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29
In a world filled with fear and negativity, it is truly refreshing to spend some time with someone who lifts your spirits, isn't it? Let's determine to be people who build up others rather than tear them down!
The world most often thinks of a leader as someone out front, making plans, and giving directions. While we may do many of the same things, the posture of our hearts should be very different. Jesus calls us to a different kind of influence.
"Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:24-28
A servant-leader leads by example, from the inside-out. What's in our hearts flows out to impact others. Let's determine to have a heart that is right before the Lord with a willingness to serve.