Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honour. Proverbs 21:21 NLT
Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind finds life itself—glorious life! Proverbs 21:21 MSG
Whoever pursues justice and treats others with kindness discovers a true life marked by integrity and respect. Proverbs 21:21 VOICE
“Leadership is influence nothing more nothing less.” J. Maxwell
In our social media world, it is so easy to be negative, critical subtly or not so subtly to those who are or were people of influence in our lives and perhaps to whom we now don’t agree with.
In 30+ years of ministry I have been impacted by many types of people of influence. Every one of these people of influence had strengths & weaknesses in their lives and impacted me in both positive and in some cases negative ways.
I have found that some people will never apologize for things spoken or mistakes they have made. Although they should be accountable to the standards they hold others to ultimately that is between them and God! Not me! I will give account for my actions not the actions of another.
What do you do when someone negatively impacts you? This question will be the key to finding that glorious life marked by integrity, respect and honour found in the above verses. It was the KEY to Davids success and why God called him a man after His own heart! David was able to respond properly when God was dealing with him through the mistreatment of others and dealing with his own sin.
Are you able to forgive and move on? Forgiveness is never an easy thing but it is the result of a life pursuing righteousness in the face of adversity and injustice. Pursuing righteousness, peace, and joy instead of revenge and justice are always the qualities God is desiring to work in our life. He wants to bear the fruit of HIS Spirit in our lives.
Are you able to see any good in people or leaders who you may disagree with? Paul says; We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautifulwhen we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. Romans 8:28 VOICE
God is orchestrating things for our good and to produce something beautiful in our lives. Many of the influencers that we criticize and disagree with at the moment were once instrumental in providing things we actually are walking in today. The relationships that are my dearest and closest have come as a result of people of influence who were flawed, but through God connected me to these great people.
What I have learned as I have matured and encountered various styles of personalities and people of influence is: EVERYONE we encounter can teach us tremendous lessons that can catapult us into our destiny! If you will pursue righteousness and the unfailing love of Jesus, God will get you to your destination. If you maintain a right heart, a deep appreciation and gratefulness will come into your spirit for the blessing and lessons each person provided. Even what might seem like difficult things done inappropriately God can actually use these things to build into you qualities for your future. Sometimes you learn what not to do! Joseph was able to recognize that what his brothers did to him, although terrible and difficult was actually God at work bringing about the salvation of a nation.
In the era of social media it has become so easy to vent, lay your opinions out there and passively or aggressively take shots at people of influence or people in general. Last year, I started a ministry called “Speak Life Canada.” Each week I travel speaking to hundreds and hundreds of people the life changing Word of God. I had to make a decision in my life, on social media and with my friends to always try to “Speak Life” even when it would have been easy to speak my opinion or speak from my emotions and possibly be negative. (I haven’t always done that and its a reminder of my need for Gods grace to work deeper in my life.) There are many things to be negative about in life, BUT I have found it is always best to take the high road, speak life and keep my thoughts to myself or when needed bounce them off a few trusted counsellors rather than air my grievances, disappointments, hurts or stuff in public and/or on social media formats.
Recently, I was reflecting with someone the rich heritage I enjoy today and how it has come out of working with good but flawed people who God used to work and orchestrate something beautiful for my life.
I choose to honour the past influencers and people, some who have gone on to their reward, for the lessons I caught, was taught and hopefully applied. Will you?
I choose to honour my present influencers and significant people in my life for their ongoing support to my family who weekly serve the house of God with their time, treasure and talents and to our church community. It isn’t always easy, they are human and need grace and love extended to them. I would want the same extended to me and so should you!
Finally, I honour the people and influencers I meet each week in my travels, who are investing in other people, leaders who are building wonderful churches and making God’s name great in the earth. I celebrate who you are and what you carry. I will honour your dedication to righteousness and the cause of Christ.
As the scripture says: When you pursue righteousness and are filled with the unfailing love of Jesus you will find life, righteousness and honour.
Why not stop and take a moment to reflect on the lessons you have learned so far. Thank God for your past leaders and influencers, extend grace to those who you may have disagreements with and to your present people of influence, speak life over them.
Remember, God extended grace when we were in disagreement with HIM! We should do the same! #speaklife