Influence | What Makes You Contagious?
Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat.… They were all encouraged and ate some food… Acts 27:33, 36
It was bad enough that Paul was dragged to Rome in handcuffs, but he had to get there on a ship manned by the Three Stooges. Even prisoners know you don’t set sail at the wrong time of year with a storm coming. Paul warned the crew, but who listens to a prisoner? They were in a hurry, ignored good advice, and lived to regret it when this storm turned out to be no ordinary thundershower. It tortured them for two weeks, forcing the sailors to fight so hard to keep the ship afloat they forgot about food. Who could eat anyway, pitching about like that? When God told Paul that the ship would be lost, but that they would all be saved, he told the crew. By now, they were listening to him. He’d been right before; maybe he was right this time.
Influence is not demanded; it’s earned. We earn the right to influence others by building a reputation they admire. Paul had told the sailors what would happen if they rejected his advice—and he was right. So the next time he offered advice, his reputation for accuracy gave him influence. Many times, we get angry when no one values our input, but it could be that our reputation does not back it up. Reputations can also work against us. When we’ve built a reputation for dishonesty, complaining, laziness, or carelessness we should not be surprised when our voice is ignored. However, when we become known for our wisdom, faithfulness, patience, and dependability, that reputation earns us the right to have influence when it matters.
What kind of reputation have you built? Has it earned you the right to be a positive influence?
Father, my past reputation may not have gained me the respect of others, but I’m trying to live for you now. Show me the areas of my life that may cause others to ignore my voice. I want to influence people for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.