The Power of Influence

This week, Ravi Zacharias went to be with the Lord after a sudden and brief battle with cancer. His ministry has had a profound impact on my life and personal convictions. His influence was far-reaching and my prayers go out to his wife Maggie, children and the entire RZIM family. In his death, we are reminded to live out our purpose so heaven may regard our death as gain – Philippians 1:21.

Who is the biggest human influence in your life?

We are often the outcome of the influence we are exposed to. That’s why I believe leadership is no trivial responsibility.

It was John Maxwell who described influence as:

the capacity to cause others to do what they had not intended on doing.

I absolutely love that. It is the ability to inspire others to take action. In life, we give and receive influence. But the real question is this: “who’s influencing you?“ and ”what kind of influence are you wielding on others?“

Vulnerable and disadvantaged

The scriptural account of Esther is not where you’d expect to find the power of influence on display. But I find many powerful life lessons on influence from her, which I will share in another post.

Life was against the young lady. She was:

  • A slave girl – Esther 2:5-6
  • Orphaned – Esther 2:7
  • Faced with stiff competition – Esther 2:8
  • Required to hide her national identity – Esther 2:10

Vulnerable and disadvantaged, yet Esther defied the odds to rise to prominence and above her competition. And she did it through a conscious decision to wield influence when it mattered most.

You may be disadvantaged today but don’t allow your circumstance diminish the positive, godly influence you can wield on others. You too can inspire others to life-changing actions. But first, you must begin with yourself.

To influence others well, you must first lead yourself.

3 principles to wielding positive influence

Esther understood and applied three key principles of influence.

  • Timing: With the king and Haman, she didn’t rush her demands. She waited for the right time. When engaging people, timing is absolutely crucial. Get it right and you have their attention – Esther 5:6-8, 7:3-6.
  • Character: Her courtesy, tenacity, respect for others and willingness to learn gave her a platform to influence the king. Watch your character; it always opens doors.
  • Understanding Settings: Positive and godly influencers not only pick the moment but the place too. Esther created both the moment and the setting to get her husband, the king, to grant her request.

Notice, King Ahasuerus did what he had not intended on doing (defending the cause of the Jewish people). That’s influence.

Influence is not reserved for people in leadership positions. We wield influence everyday on friends, families, colleagues and on people in our local communities.

Whatever you do, make your influence count for eternity.

“Never mistake the power of influence”

Jim Rohn

Photo credit: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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