Thursday, November 24, 2011

Once you lose "it" what is there?

As I was reading this morning in the book of Matthew this is what Jesus says in chapter 5 starting in verse 13:
"You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt should loose its taste, how can it be made salty?   
Salt when it is good has an affect on that which it has proximity to.  People of influence have a say into the lives of people when they have maintained and guarded their ability to influence them.  My mind goes to all of those leaders who have unfortunately had a place of influence then through a decision made in a moment or living a life not dealing with a personal stronghold they are dealing with end up succumbing to it and loose the platform God had put them on, was putting them on, or was preparing for them.  If you think of the leaders who have fallen where is the potency of their influence now? They might have a slight bit of residue, but they will ever get back to the level of influence they once had. 

As you can tell Im comparing "salt" to "influence".  I have heard it said that the only way for salt to loose its saltiness is for there to be a chemical reaction, such as what happens when it is diluted in water.  If we desire to have or maintain influence and make a difference in this world we MUST guard our influence/life/reputation from being diluted.

What are some simple common things that can dilute our influence?  

  • Inconsistency between our words and our actions-hypocrisy
  • Not living I life focused on others.  If we want to be great Jesus said we must be the least.  What to have influence?  Get ready to serve and put others ahead of yourself.
  • Flaunting our personal freedoms, such as:
    • Drinking alcohol-NOT biblically a sin but at some point in the growth of our platform it may diminish our ability to lead more people if we flaunt it
    • Abrasive or questionable entertainment
    • Abrasive jokes or humor

What are some things that will add to our influence?

  • Integrity
  • Living a life focused on purity
  • Truly loving and serving others more than ourselves
  • Putting others feelings and perceptions ahead of our actions.  Think of others.  
  • Being passionate about guarding what God is entrusting to us and wanting to do through us and not doing anything that would put that in jeopardy

It is not that we can not do certain things, it's that if we live life not thinking of how what we do affects others we will slowly and quietly loose our ability to lead and have influence.  Because ultimately we are not living a life of love towards others. If we live a lifestyle which flaunts our personal freedoms we will diminish the number of those we can reach because of perception. That is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23, "All things are permissible but not all things beneficial."

Let's above all else not become diluted by the things in this life.  Let's commit to a life on integrity, love and service putting others first.  We will then maintain our "saltiness", our "influence", our ability to lead.  We do that and God will use us as a platform to make His Name and Kingdom great!!!

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