Influence: beyond impact.

My generation grow up being told we can make an IMPACT. I’m realizing its far better to grow and wield INFLUENCE.

Impact is more apparent, easily measured, and makes us feel better about ourselves. Business people, coaches, and churches all talk about “making an impact.” Few talk about how impactful things cause collateral damage (like meteorites and car collisions). Or how people wanting to make an name for themselves and leave their mark on history do things to compensate for their insecurity like have their face engraved on money — as the Roman Caesars did.

We built up to impact, but then what?

Influential things cannot be as easily measured, but their effect reaches far beyond the moment of interaction. Influential people listen more than talk, give more than they receive. The people who have influenced me the most in life are those who weren’t aiming to make an impact; they were just being faithful and had the courage to persevere in dire circumstances. It sounds so exciting to make an impact, but my money is now on the people who are so compelling by their serving and sacrifice, that their words carry great weight.

Influential people grow towards impact and then disappear, pointing people past themselves. Impact was never the goal, but a byproduct, a result of their steadiness, consistency, courage and generosity. Influential people may feel they haven’t done much or “not enough,’ though those who get caught up in their wake all agree the influence of their life was immeasurable.

Truly influential people have come to realize it’s not great talents that God blesses, as much as great likeness to Jesus.

  • Who has influenced you?
  • Have you recently expressed gratitude to that person?
  • How are you influencing the people around you? 


Photo credits:

“The scars of impacts on Mars” by europeanspaceagency

“12 Caesars” by Joe Geranio

“Wake” by Beardy Git


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