Culture

What it takes to live a life of influence

by Fiona Teh // March 31, 2019, 11:59 pm

Influential life

“Big doors swing on little hinges.”

Speaking at Victory Family Centre’s Kingdom Life Conference in March, Pastor Jesse Winchester, Campus Pastor of Bridge Church Bangkok, cautioned the young adults to pay attention to the big impact of little things.

“Sometimes we think it’s the big things that are going to give us influence, but it’s the small decisions we make that gives us influence.” 

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He said: “Chances are that it’s not because of one big thing but because of many small decisions, and many of those small decisions start on the inside of your heart in seed form.

“The credibility and the decisions made along the way completely short-circuited the destiny of that person’s life.”

4 HINDRANCES TO LIVING A LIFE OF INFLUENCE 

1.  Undetected threats 

“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Solomon 2:15)

Using the imagery of little foxes that destroy valuable vineyards, Winchester explained that if we leave one area unwatched, we may soon find these little foxes meddling in other areas of our lives.

Winchester warned that bad attitudes and negative thoughts could ruin the things of value in our lives. “Be faithful because we’re leaving a legacy,” he said.

“If more people are going to look up to us, we have less wiggle room to slip up. Don’t pray ‘change the world’ prayers if we’re not willing to be uncompromising about the little things in our life.”

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2. A lack of discipline  

“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:10-12)

A little laziness or a little nonchalance can sometimes be all we need to see our efforts go to naught or diminish our influence. Winchester suggests creating disciplines, forming habits and being diligent.

“You can be in a season of great significance and everything’s working well. But what can happen in those seasons is sometimes we can become lazy and go into cruise control,” he pointed out.

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3. Being changed instead of a change-maker

“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” (Galatians 5:9)

Just as a bit of yeast can permeate an entire batch of dough, our influence can spread throughout a school or workplace. 

However, the challenge is to identify with the world, but not change our identity; to be people of influence without being influenced by the outside.

Because the reverse is also true. A small offence from outside can grow to infect us inside. Winchester implored the crowd not to let bad decisions that others have made to affect their lives. 

Carrying little offences with us – things that others have done that are not favourable to us – and allowing them to creep into our hearts can harm us.

“Deal with little things now because it’ll affect tomorrow – your future,” he said.

4. Careless words

“…The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (James 3:5)

Though the tongue is smallest part of the body, it has so much influence: What we say shapes the atmosphere and can build or tear down the lives of people around us.

“There were things that I’ve said and later thought ‘What was I thinking? Why did I say that? Please can I put it back.’ It’s like toothpaste. When you squeeze it out. You cannot put it back in,” said Winchester.

Watch the small things — for from the seed comes the fruit.

On the flip side, he shared about the impact of encouraging words that were spoken over him as a teenager.

“To this day I can remember word for word something that probably just fell out of their mouth. And they didn’t realise that (their words) shaped my future and set me up.”

In closing, Winchester reminded us that we would also do well to steward the little things that we’ve been entrusted with.

“Be faithful with what’s in our hands, be content with what’s in our care and be good stewards of our resources and our relationships. Watch the small things – for from the seed comes the fruit.”

About the author

Fiona Teh

Fiona is low-key hilarious, a dog person, and she loves a good chat with strangers – particularly at Yakun. She also believes that everyone should know that they are absolutely worthy of love.