Episode four of Off the Field is about a topic I’m sure we’re all familiar with. The Dictionary.com definition of influence is “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviors, opinion, etc. of others.” I say we all know of this idea of influence because we see it all over in our culture. We’ve all heard of influencers, right? We see on our social media feeds constantly. You may not have millions of followers on social media, I sure know I don’t, but everyone still has a circle of influence.
"I want to become an athlete of influence!"
The direct correlation for athletes is your teammates. For some of you, you are the only Christian on your team. You may be the only experience one of your teammates has with Christianity.
Matthew 5 is the home of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount. Verses 13-16 specifically call on Christ-followers to be the “salt and light of the world.”
“You are the salt of the earth, nut if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16, NIV).
This means we have the responsibility to represent Christ to those around us. Sound familiar? This theme goes hand in hand with the previous episode on character. Spend some time thinking about who you influence and how you can be filling your role better.
If you are interested in learning more about influence, Athletes in Action is coming out with a podcast sharing stories of influence. Listening to the podcast will give you an opportunity to learn from other athletes about how you can use your position on your team to make an impact. Make sure to follow AIA on social (@athletesinaction) to learn more.
- Who is in your circle of influence?
- Who are some people that have been a positive influence in your life?
- When you hear the term “influencer,” what or who do you think of? Would you say the word has a positive or a negative connotation?
- How can you use your position of influence for God’s glory?
- Why do you think Jesus used salt and light as symbolism for how Christians should represent him?