I didn't grow up going to church, so when I heard about who Jesus is and what Jesus did, I believed it, and my life and my eternity was changed.
It just made sense to me, then, that other people needed to hear that same message about Jesus, and I wanted to help them hear it.
Basically, I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to make an impact.
I didn't just want to exist; I wanted my life to count.
I wanted to make a difference for something that was bigger than me.
Maybe you know the feeling. I hope you know the feeling.
I believe that God wants you to help other people believe in him.
God wants you to make a difference. He wants you to make an impact.
But making an impact can be hard.
You can't just walk up to people and be like, "Hi. You need to believe in Jesus." That probably won't make the kind of impact you're hoping for. Instead, it would be better to try some advice that Peter gives in the Bible:
"Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors" (1 Peter 2:12a).
You're around people - friends, classmates, teammates - who don't believe in God. Or maybe they believe in God, but they don't have much to with Jesus or church. Peter says, "Be careful how you live." Your choices about what you do and don't do, about what you say and don't say, those choices don't just affect you...they affect those people too.
They're judging whether this whole faith things is good or not, and whether it works or not based on how you live and what kind of difference it makes in your life. So, live properly, with honesty and integrity.
Then he goes on:
"Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world" (1 Peter 2:12).
When you live properly, with honesty and integrity, among people who don't believe in God, the verse says they'll do 2 things:
1) They will see your honorable behavior.
2) They will give honor to God.
To make that kind of impact, we need influence: the power to affect someone's thoughts and actions. In your group of friends, you know who has influence and who doesn't. With influence, when you say something, people listen and respond. With influence, people pay attention to you.
The best way to gain influence is to have integrity: being consistent, honest, authentic, and whole. It's the word we use for someone who does they say they'll do.
The opposite of integrity is hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy will make you lose influence.
Integrity will make you gain influence.
It's that simple.
So here's how it works: Integrity --> Influence --> Impact.
In the words of Peter, here's how it works:
"Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors." (That's integrity.)
"They will see your honorable behavior." (That's influence.)
"They will give honor to God when he judges the world." (That's impact.)
And the biggest impact you can make is to help someone discover that God is real, and he has a real love for them. That's the kind of impact that makes an eternal kind of difference.
Are Leaders Born or Made?
What Should I Do? (1 of 2)
What Should I Do? (2 of 2)