Influence and Response

Every single one of us is a leader. In some way, we each lead where we are. We can be a leader with our friends, leader with our family, leader of our siblings, leader in a youth group or church ministry, leader by job description or title. Really, leadership, as John Maxwell describes it, is influence. We each influence others every day. Whether by our action or inaction, we are influencing the people in our lives every day.

This morning for our Tuesday Morning Encouragement I want to share a small, simple leadership principle. It is one that is often a struggle to live out, and yet if we live it out it can bring great blessing.

I really enjoy football. Whether watching an actual game, listening to it on the radio, watching highlights, or even watching or listening to people talk about football, I am a huge fan of the sport. It excites me. It is currently the postseason for the NFL, and recently I’ve seen a few postgame press conferences where players are blaming other people for their loss. Now, there may be some truth to what the players are saying, but blaming other people never solved anything. It never brings resolution and it really doesn’t help you to become any better of a player or person.


The leadership principle I want to share today is this: “As you influence others, you cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your response.”

Blaming and complaining becomes easy when something unfortunate, unplanned, or negative happens to us. But the leadership principle is to control your response to whatever happens to you. It may be something you hate, something you don’t agree with, something that doesn’t make any sense. It could be someone else’s fault. The world may say that you are right to be angry and want retribution or retaliation. But the thing is, being a follower of Christ and someone who influences others every day, you are challenged to live different.

Today, when something happens to you, remember that you have the power to influence the people around you. When you control your response to whatever uncontrollable thing happens to you, people take notice. Your children take notice. Your friends take notice. Your boss or co-workers take notice. And you just became a great leader and a great example of a Christ-follower because you were self-controlled in the way that you responded.

My prayer for you from this morning on is that you would be able to control your responses and reactions from the first moment that something happens to you, and that this response would shine a light on the Name and Gospel of Jesus Christ.


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