The power of influence

Since I was a kid, I remember being told that my life matters. That me being here on this earth would make a difference. I whole heartedly believe that, not just about myself but about all people. Every human being was created with the uniquely divinely implanted ability to make an impact on the world. 

I've noticed recently that the impact that people can have isn't always positive though. 

Life is very similar to an escalator. Well, one that works anyway, otherwise it would just be a set of stairs and that doesn't work well for this analogy. 

On an escalator you are either moving up or down, but you are never staying in the same spot. If you are using them correctly anyway. 

My life can be either a positive impact or a negative one. This can be on a whole, or even in minute by minute updates. One minute I could be the most helpful positive guy and the next be crushing someone else's soul for no better reason than I was just lazy and didn't want to help them. But either way, I am making an impact on their life. Very rarely, if ever at all will you ever leave someone the same way you met them. Even in momentary encounters at a stop light in the middle of rush hour traffic. 

I've been more aware of this recently mostly because of how people have been treating me. It's not so much my fans as it is people that I interact with on a regular basis in the business world. I've noticed an attitude that creeps into us all. That says I deserve to be heard. I deserve to be put to the front of the line and I'll raise my voice and my temper till I get my way. My two year old daughter does that too. 

And so do I if I'm honest. 

I came into this world with nothing. I deserve nothing. I shouldn't be looking at how others can serve me, but how I can serve others. 

It makes things difficult when you are trying to serve others and they would rather run you over in the process just to prove a point. Not to me but to themselves. I should know. I've done this. I've treated people like they were the next rung on my ladder of success and they deserve to be my footstool. 

I don't want to be that way. When people hear my name, see my number, or get a text I want an overwhelmingly positive excitement to come over whomever it's to. Not because I'm so great, but because I represent something far beyond myself. When I treat people poorly, it doesn't reflect badly on me as much as it does on Christ. 

Think about it, if I was an unbeliever and I yelled at the waitress for letting my coffee cup run dry, no one would think any different. But put a bible on the table next to that coffee cup and God gets blamed for my horrible action. 

...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
— Matthew 20:28

We are here to serve. 

It's so much easier to say than to do, but I promise you, every moment counts. Apologizing isn't just for little kids trying to learn how to share. It's for adults too. When we mess up, when not if because we will, we should be ready to admit our faults and ask for forgiveness because it's Christ we represent. 

We might be the only representation that someone has of Christ and how you treat them will speak volumes of who He is. 

I say this not to point the finger as much as to remind me of what I hope I'll never forget. I am not more important than my Savior and if He can come to serve, I have no excuse. He has given me the power to influence the cashier at Wal-mart, the drive thru at Taco Bell, even that telemarketer person that calls me every 2 weeks.

What am I doing with those opportunities? Maybe getting "what I deserve" is far less important than giving people what they don't. What I didn't.