LEARN THE POWER OF YOUR IMPACT
Do you know you being you influences and impacts others? Do you know the power of your impact?
The words, Intentional Impact, whispered into my heart one morning as I wrote in my journal reflecting on scripture I’d been reading. I was using a green felt-tipped pen and placed the words at the top of the page like tall, towers not to be overlooked and suggesting their power.
Considering those two lofty words has brought me to ask myself, and now you, three important questions.
1. What impact am I making?
2. Is my impact intentional?
3. Why does being intentional about my impact matter?
These questions are key for us at all times, really. But maybe especially these days when our time, relationships, money, work, health, and expectations have all been tossed about—many without our planning our permission.
To stand firm and honor our Faith, enjoy meaning and purpose we cannot escape our responsibility to ask and answer these questions.
What Impact Am I Making?
We all make an impact. You may think you don’t. You may believe you’re too far down on the roster to matter. But that’s not true. Everyone is created, intended to—and does—make her mark.
In the book, Shadow Christians, author Jeff Iorg describes those for which his book is entitled as:
“people who work in dimly lit margins, in the shadows created by the spotlight shining on others.”
Iorg goes on to explain how Christians who often remain nameless serve in the shadows yet make a significant impact. So powerful is the influence of unnamed people in our lives that each of us has experienced either immediate impact, delayed ripple effects, or both.
Think about the woman at the well, the young rich man, the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ robe, the lame man who walked, the blind man who saw, the boy with the basket of fish.
All unnamed. All making an impact immediately on those around them and influencing others of us for thousands of years.
Maybe you’re the person at the front of the room, on the stage, or the gentle whisperer supporting others on the side saying a silent prayer, working behind the computer, or part of the mop up crew. Wherever you stand, whether you’ve recognized it or not, you make an impact.
In subtle and profound ways. In instant, deferred, and enduring ways.
Knowing this, imagine what would change for you and me—for others if we thought through our godly intentions according to God's purpose for us? Choosing to make a difference with our words, choices, and actions, and presence…deciding we have unique influence where we are, using all we know and have ben given as we go with him on our special path.
It matters not just for the moment. It matters eternally.
God exemplified making an intentional impact. He did it when he:
Parted the Red Sea
Whispered in the breeze to Elijah
Provided the ram for Isaac
Granted Esther favor
Prepared the Last Supper
Sent Simon to carry Jesus' cross
Sacrificed Jesus in our place.
In all this and more, God went about impacting the world intentionally on our behalf revealing his glory, loving faithfulness, and desire for relationship with us.
Which brings us to our second question.
Is My Impact Intentional?
Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word intentional includes: conscious, deliberate, purposeful, and willful.
What if you and I began each day deliberately conscious of glorifying God and intending to benefit all those in our sphere of influence rather than focused on what we will receive or what points we will win? What if we went into each conversation, classroom, office, or meeting having determined to influence others for Christ in only the way we can before ever opening the door, the screen, or our mouths?
Believe me, your intentional impact is noticed and experienced in all sorts of ways and spaces in your life.
People are affected by the way you (and I)…
Use our time
Manage our money
Express ourselves in word and tone
Care for our health
Live out our priorities
Share our faith
Appreciate and share our blessings
Encourage and build relationships
Choose our entertainment
Display appreciation and thanks
Prioritize our lives
Perform our work
Each of these topics are addressed in scripture. Clearly, we are meant to follow and express God's ways in all the ways we can with all the people we're around.
Not that I’ve always succeeded in this—to which, unfortunately, many can attest. But as my relationship with the Lord has grown (and continues to deepen), I’ve learned to rely less on myself and trust the Holy Spirit more. I've stopped avoiding the truth about the impact I'm meant to make...the power I've been given to influence others for Christ. I've stopped hiding from my responsibility to live true to Jesus, how and who he made me to be, and the calling he's given me whether I'm in the grocery store, on a walk, or with a client.
The truth is being intentional is not rocket science but in the end, it could be even more powerful.
Why Does Being Intentional About My Impact Matter?
Choosing to be intentional about your impact matters because God really, really loves you. Beyond anything, he wants you to want to know and love him more.
As you do this and as you are deliberate about following him and his ways, you will understand you are commissioned to go. Not in a willy-nilly fashion. But to go with intention mindful about the eternal impact God has purposed for you to make so others may know and love him, too.
What intentional impact are you making? It matters.