The Weight of Influence

I’ve talked before about vulnerability, and that it’s sometimes difficult to write because a lot of vulnerability is required (See “Gifts Used for Growth“). In everything that I write, a piece of my life, heart and/or mind is revealed to the readers.

That is one part of writing that is scary, but there is another I find to be much more significant. The aspect of writing that probably scares me the most is influence.

I used to be able to write with freedom and post without much forethought. I wrote about what I was learning and put it out for the world to see. As I’m getting older and am a leader in my church’s jr. high youth group, I’m understanding the power of influence.

What scares me is that someone might read what I’m learning, my thoughts and opinions and fully accept them for their own. I try my best to write honestly, to admit that I don’t know everything, or even very much at all. To show that I have weaknesses, and I fall short often. I do this in hopes that people won’t take everything I write as perfect and true, but to instead take it with a grain of salt.

The best example I have of this is when I wrote my post titled “Sex and God“. In all honestly, I didn’t even want to write it, but I also didn’t feel like I had a choice. It was my response to a blog post by a woman who walked through some difficult circumstances with intimacy in the beginning of her marriage. She wrote about why waiting to have sex until marriage messed her up. What bothered me the most while reading her post was seeing the potential influence it could have on others. I thought of any of my jr. high students reading it, accepting it and acting on it. That was what pushed me to write my response post, along with God’s graceful guidance. I wanted to add some Truth to a situation full of lies. I wanted to add some positive influence to a situation with the potential to have an incredibly negative impact.

The weight of my influence can sometimes be scary. I never want someone to read my writing and accept it without thinking through it on their own first. Not everyone will agree with what I have to say, and not everyone should.

I would say that one of my most common prayers when I sit down to write something new is discernment. I want to write honestly, I want to be open about what I’m walking through, and I want to encourage others towards growth, but that takes prayer, diligence and discernment.

Although influence is a scary thing, and in the wrong hands it can be deadly, it can also glorify God and bring honor and praise to Him. That’s what I want. I want everything I say to be God-honoring and to walk away knowing that I only write because of Him and the words He gives me.

Where do you have influence?

Do you understand the value in being a positive influence to others, in everything that you do and say?

Are you using that influence to further the Kingdom of God? If not, what are you using it for?

Do you recognize the weight of having influence over any single person?

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

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Quite Honestly: Rejuvenation

I used to workout every other day, and it became something I actually looked forward to after a long day of work. I then got caught up in Honduras, and my future and everything else going on and that healthy habit slowly disappeared from my life. Lately, I have been finding myself wanting to go for a run or bike ride more and more. Unfortunately, because of being in Honduras, I can’t really do that. I have had to find creative ways to get a workout in without and videos or equipment. I love the way that a quick 15 minute workout can help to shed the stress laying on my day and rejuvenate my spirit.

As I was working out today, and was feeling the stress leave me body as I did jumping jacks, my mind began to think about the idea of rejuvenation. What does it mean to be rejuvenated? Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines it in several ways, but my favorite was “to make young or youthful again : give new vigor to”. It is my favorite because that’s what it really feels like. When I finish a workout, I feel revived; I feel like I’m ready to tackle any difficult tasks I’ve been putting off.

Of course, that led me to thinking about spiritual rejuvenation.

Every morning, the first thing I do is read a devotional. I do this before talking to anyone, before pulling out my computer or reading any other book. It is my way of connecting with God and starting my day off right. This is a habit I have wanted to form for many years, and I’m so glad I can finally claim that. Not only does a morning start with many promises, but when the first thing you read are the promises of God, it’s like everything is right in your life (even if just for a moment). It’s that same rejuvenation of the spirit!

As I posted about a couple weeks ago, and have been continuing to touch on in my posts, I am relearning the basics of my faith. God is doing a lot work in my heart and I have come to understand something.

It has been and is a rejuvenation of my spiritual life.

God is making me “young again” and I’m getting “new vigor to” my walk with Him. The passions that kept my fire aglow in high school are returning to me as I seek Him. The many thoughts and habits that kept me on track throughout the day are slowly returning as part of my life. To say it has been a challenge would be an understatement.

I’m constantly having to check myself and assess my life. I have to look at the habits I have versus the habits I want and figure out what I need to do to attain them. I am constantly in need of God’s grace as I mess up and readjust my life. I am also learning to give myself a lot of grace in this walk. I have always been really hard on myself, and gotten disappointed in myself easily. I’m learning how to praise and reward myself for moving forward and to learn from the times I don’t without getting discouraged.

Life is a delicate balance of give and take. I’m still learning those balances and am just beginning to grasp the idea of balance as a whole.

The one thing I can say with full confidence, is that this has been the most rewarding thing I have done in my life.

There are always going to be things that need improvement, or to be eliminated completely, but it is so important to rejoice over the accomplishments and the transformation!

What are some things you can do to rejuvenate your spiritual life? Maybe you’re in a place that you’ve grown so distant from Christ, you’re not sure how to find your way back:

Start by praying, start by singing, start by praising, start by being honest with yourself. It’s a difficult process, but the most challenging step is the first one. God has not left you in the deep-end, to watch you suffer and drown; He has been holding out his hand to you all this time so that you may be held in His perfect grace.

Maybe you’re at the height of your spiritual walk, and have never felt so close to God:

Find a new habit you can include in your life or new activity that rejuvenates your spirit. May it be starting a journal, a vlog, or going on a prayer walk. There are so many opportunities for us to step out of this world and into Christ and spend time being rejuvenated!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie