Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

How to Influence Others for Good

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Who are the people who have influenced your life the most? For good? Or for bad?

Your life is filled with relationships. Most do not affect you. They are acquaintances. Only people you know.

But there is a smaller group of people that have impacted you. They have shaped you. They have played a role in your becoming the person you are. Whether positive or negative, knowing them has left a permanent imprint on you.

Why do some affect you so much?

In one of my favorite messages, Andy Stanley tells us why. It isn’t about what those people believed. It isn’t about knowledge. It isn’t about theology.

The people who have had the greatest impact on your life can be divided into one of two categories.

Those that have hurt you. And those that have loved you.

The People that Have Hurt You

There are those who have caused you harm. They damaged you. Your life is worse for knowing them. And the impact is lasting.

You have been scarred by them. And that hurt can be difficult to get over. Sometimes the hurt and the pain runs so deep it can take years to move on. Sometimes you can’t.

Sometimes the hurt is intentional. Sometimes it isn’t

Sometimes the hurt comes from someone you expect it from. Sometimes it comes from the ones you love. The ones you thought loved you.

The People that Have Helped You

There are also people who have influenced you for good.

  • A parent that loved you unconditionally.
  • A spouse that always quick to forgive.
  • A teacher that saw something good in you and encouraged you to fly higher.
  • A boss who recognized your hard work and showed appreciation.

All of these saw something good in you. They encouraged you. They supported you. They reached down and helped you. They gave of themselves in such a way, it made you want to do something better. It made you want to do more.

These are the types of people who make you want to live a better story.

And they did it because they loved you. They gave sacrificially. They gave without expecting in return. They worked for your good. They were patient and kind.

Sometimes they even loved you at the expense of themselves.

And you will never forget them.

How to Influence Others for Good

One of Stanley’s main points is that you can, and do, have influence on others. Through your relationships, you are impacting the people you know.

It is easy to get caught up on ideas. It is fun to fill our heads with knowledge of how things should be. But what we believe about the world or about God, isn’t the key component to influence others for good.

How you affect others has less to do with what you believe and more to do with how you treat them. (Tweet or share on Facebook.)

Your words and actions can influence others in two different ways. You can either hurt them. Or you can help them.

If you choose to help, Stanley suggests a question to ask yourself in any given situation or relationship.

“What does love require of me?”

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About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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10 Replies

  1. Love it Jeremy. So often, I think we try to reduce relationships down to a set of beliefs (much like we do with our relationship with God. If I believe all the right things about God, that constitutes a relationship with him.) Such a mindset wouldn’t work with my wife – I can’t just believe all the right things about her and call that a relationship. But it’s easy to think that way with people. Hope you have an awesome week, Jeremy!

  2. Your post reminds me of a song called “Words” by Hawk Nelson. Words (and actions) have so much power. It really does boil down to the two points you’ve made here.

    Thanks for choosing to use your blog for good, and for encouraging others to be more than just an observer of life.

  3. Diego

    Hi Jeremy, really good. It brought me memories of people that have impacted me along the way, that for whatever reason get forgotten along the way.
    Thanks a lot.

  4. Jeremy, loved the post today. Love is a powerful force in life and it moves us forward when we feel it from others.

  5. Julie Rains

    Insightful post and timely for me as my college-age son has been grappling with theological issues. I have told him that certain issues can be intriguing to explore but that shouldn’t interfere with genuine faith and the simplicity of our core beliefs. This has helped me to frame my argument in simple terms: that is, ask yourself whether you are showing love or causing harm, instead of worrying about the details. Thanks!

  6. It does force us to ask what is really important doesn’t it?

  7. It’s easy to forget isn’t it? A fun thing to do would be to “out of the blue” send them a thank you note.

  8. Thanks, Matt. Understanding your wife can help you love her, but only if that understanding translates into patience and kindness, and good things like that.

  9. I like the idea of observing life. I think we all need to do that more. What isn’t helpful is not observing and then letting life pass as is. Thanks for the kind words.

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