Understanding who Jesus was teaches us how to influence other people on purpose. What would happen if every Christian woman decided to make a life-changing impact on twelve other women in her lifetime? The results would be remarkable.
Jesus influenced individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. He saw in each the potential “to become” and inspired them to learn from Him. His principles for influencing lives are timeless and available for us today. Here are some life-changing principles for making a lasting difference in the lives of others.
The Principle Of Time Alone With God
Jesus reminds us that the key to spiritual power is time alone with God. “With the crowd dispersed, He climbed the mountain so He could be by Himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night” (Matt. 14:23). Many Christians struggle with learning how to have a meaningful daily time with God. Just as the disciples talked out loud with Jesus and told Him their concerns, needs, confessions, and joys, so can we. Speaking honestly with others about our prayer life frees them to voice their own failures and successes in establishing time with Him.
The Principle Of Walking And Talking
Jesus taught the disciples in a natural, non-classroom environment. He often taught truth through the principle of walking and talking.
Jesus didn’t wait for a classroom setting to teach truth to His followers. He used everyday events and interruptions to make truth memorable. He took advantage of what I call “impact moments” – opportunities to teach or influence that are unplanned. In this same informal way, we can teach and encourage younger Christian women as we drink coffee in their kitchens and give advice on rearing children or as we work in the office. When we intentionally embrace the principle of walking and talking, we point others to God and encourage their potential.
The Principle Of Storytelling
“Why do you tell stories?” the disciples asked Jesus. “…I tell stories to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight” (Matt. 13:10,13).
Jesus knew how to capture people’s attention. He taught the unknown through the known. He used stories to capture the imaginations of His followers. The best influencers follow the example of Jesus and use stories to mold minds and hearts to demonstrate biblical truth.
The Principle Of Asking Questions
Jesus knew the power of a well-placed question. His questions were direct, simple, and intriguing.
One day Jesus came to the outskirts of Jericho. A blind man sat next to the road. He heard the crowd rustling and asked what was happening. When he was told that Jesus was going by, he yelled, “Jesus! Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!” (Lk.18:38). People told the man to be quiet, but he was relentless. Jesus stopped and asked the man, “What do you want me to do for you?” (vs. 41).
Jesus gave the man an opportunity to voice his request and verbalize his belief. When we ask a woman what she wants from us, the answer can take her one step toward maturity.
The Principle Of Compassion
Jesus gave us a superb demonstration of this through one of His stories. He was confronted by a religion scholar who asked, “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?” (Lk. 10:25).
Jesus asked the man to tell Him what was written in God’s Law, and he responded, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence – and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself” (vs. 27).
Genuine compassion powerfully affects those who receive, give and observe it. As women who pour our lives and hearts into younger women, we need to practice it.
The Principle Of Unconditional Love
Jesus practiced the kind of love that doesn’t come naturally. In John 8 the Pharisees brought a woman to Him who had been caught in adultery. The Bible says, “They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?’” (Jn. 8:4-5).
Jesus reminds us to love and forgive those who have been caught in sin. He further reminds us to point them in the right direction.Great influencers know how to nurture the potential in others to fulfill their God-given purpose. Becoming a woman of influence is costly, risky, and time consuming, but there can be no greater joy than knowing you have obediently begun to impact others by shaping hearts to the image of Jesus Christ.