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Blog: Influencing (Part 1) (04/28/22)

In today’s world, the question is not whether you are influenced, but rather by whom are you influenced. We are bombarded with information daily, and this information has only one purpose: to influence. With social media in our pockets and plenty of media to watch and listen to, being influenced is a part of life. After all, we now have so-called “influencers” on social media who make a living by influencing their audience. With all the influences we encounter daily, hourly and even minute by minute, have you stopped and wondered who is influencing you?

You don’t have to be in a room full of people to be influenced. You can turn on your phone and immediately start following the path of influence. With social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and so many more, being influenced is just a click away. It’s easy to pick up your phone, tablet, etc., and start browsing your social media accounts. Everything from politics and celebrities to music and even cat videos influences us. What kind of influencers do you allow into your life? Which voice do you listen to the most?

You might say that you are someone who chooses not to be influenced by anything, but in reality, humans are determined to be influenced. It started at the dawn of time with Adam and Eve influenced by the serpent in the garden. They let themselves be persuaded by soft words, but in the end, ended up losing almost everything. If we are not careful, our circle of influence could destroy all that is good in us and cause us to lose all that really matters.

It is essential that we become aware of the influences we allow into our lives. We’ve all heard the saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” I heard that when I was a kid, but never understood what it meant. It wasn’t until I was in college that I fully understood its meaning. In short, we become who we allow into our lives. If you surround yourself with selfish, self-centered, manipulative people, then that is what you will become. I was watching a video podcast the other day, and the guest on the show said, “My dad said to me, ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you what kind of a man you’ll be.’ direct correlation to the type of person we become.This is why the apostle Paul quoted the Greek poet Menender in his letter to the Corinthians: “Bad company corrupts good character.

I challenge you to disconnect from the world and figure out who is influencing you. If you allow negative, selfish, and/or egocentric ideologies to seep into your mind and shape your thinking, you must turn off the noises that influence you. You need to look for a positive influence. Find the voices that encourage you to become better. Find the voices that promote selflessness, integrity and humility. Find the voices that push you to keep going when the going gets tough. Choose wisely what you allow to influence you. As the apostle Paul wrote: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is beautiful, whatever is wonderful – if anything is excellent or worthy of praise – think about these things.

As always, stay humble and serve well!