The Way To Gain Influence

We don’t always have the opportunity to share the gospel directly with those we love, live around or work with. But we can still exert a godly influence.

I’m stirred by this quote by Tim Keller, commenting on God’s command to Israel to seek the welfare of Babylon when they had been taken captive:

“For you,” God says, “the route to gaining influence is not taking power. Influence gained through power and control doesn’t really change society; it doesn’t change hearts. I’m calling you to a totally different approach. Be so sacrificially loving that the people around you, who don’t believe what you believe, will soon be unable to imagine the place without you. They’ll trust you because they see that you’re not only out for yourself, but out for them, too. When they voluntarily begin to look up to you because of the attractiveness of your service and love, you’ll have real influence.” — Tim Keller, King’s Cross

Here are some questions this quote raises:

  • How am I seeking to serve or bless my neighbors, co-workers, or unbelieving children?
  • Would the unbelievers in my life see that I’m truly “out for them” – that I have their interests at heart?
  • Would my non-Christian friends say I was “sacrificially loving?”
  • What sacrifices can I make for unbelievers?
  • How is my church sacrificially serving our community?
  • What are some ways we can do that?

What questions would you add?

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  • Louis Tullo

    “What sacrifices can I make for unbelievers?”

    What a question! It cuts me to the core as a believer. Jesus was so radical because he calls us to show love in a way that only guarantees His affection in return and not necessarily that of those who we’re extending ourselves to. May God grant me the gracious and loving Spirit to be an instrument of Him to those who don’t know His Son.

  • Mark Altrogge

    Excellent Louis! You are so right–Jesus said that we are to love our enemies expecting nothing in return. Thanks for adding these comments.

  • @stanknrankn

    Mark, Thanks for the post. I was actually encouraged by it, not because I'm excelling at sacrificially loving others, but that it speaks to the differences of influence and power. You don't need power to be influential and power does include influence but many times influence is corrupted by power. Thanks again for another timely post.

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