Collin College Fall

Authority versus influence

by | Nov 7, 2019 | Opinion

Who do you look up to? Who is it you admire and want to be like? I hope there’s someone who comes to mind for you.

A recent study revealed the 15-29 year old demographic is more likely to say there’s no one they admire or want to be like. I read those results with sadness because it means they see no heroes in their life.

This younger generation has an increasing disillusionment in the people they see as leaders around them. There are several reasons this is alarming. However, it’s not all their fault. Those of us who are older may need to step up our own examples.

Granted, as people look around today they see plenty of bad examples. They see a story about a bad cop, a corrupt politician, predators in schools, gunmen in movie theaters, and have decided everyone they encounter is corrupt and prone to hurt them. What a horrible view of the world with which to live.

To those who feel this way, I encourage you that not everyone is bad. One bad cop or lying politician doesn’t automatically mean they’re all bad. One incompetent teacher doesn’t mean all teachers don’t care.

I’ve seen plenty of good people in our world. I’ve watched individuals sacrifice so they could help out someone in need. I’ve seen police officers go out of their way to help someone improve their life after a bad decision. I’ve watched elected officials give up a large portion of time with their own families to serve a larger community.

Recently the world watched in wonder as Brandt Jean turned a courtroom victim statement into an act of grace and forgiveness. At the end of that trial, Judge Tammy Kemp stepped down to hug the Jean family of the slain Botham Jean. Then, she went to her chambers and retrieved her personal bible to hand to Amber Guyger after she’d just been found guilty and sentenced.

Those courtroom interactions were seen on newscasts and discussed on talk shows across the nation. Why? Because it was behavior radically different from what was expected. What I heard most was, “I could never do that.”

The unexpected is what we need more of in our world. Jesus told his followers they were called to live unusual and unexpected lives. In Matthew 19-20, he’s talking with people about how the world responds to the breakup of a marriage, the annoyance of children, attitudes toward money and power. Then he says, “But, not so for you.”

It’s the difference between authority versus influence.

Some people are working hard to gain authority. They want to have power over others. They want you to obey because they’re the boss, the oldest, or the smartest. You can make people obey you if you have authority over them. But, if it takes your authority to make them do what you want, I guarantee they’re just waiting to find a new job or get out of your house to get out from under your authority.

People who work to develop influence are building relationships. They strive to communicate their love over their authority. People with influence find people following them because they’re a good role model. They want to be like the influencer.

Hebrews 13:7 says we’re to consider the way of life of those we admire. We should “consider the outcome” of their life and strive to be like them.

We need an older generation living, working and leading in such a way that those who consider the outcome of your life – the way they really see you live – and will want to be like you.

Likewise, we need the younger generation to look around for the people who have a “good outcome” to their life. Find the people you want to be like and find out what makes them do what they do. Discover their motivations and purposes.

It’s about finding the people who just want authority and avoiding their path. Instead, finding the people who are role models and allowing them to be influencers in your life.

 

For more stories like this, see the Nov. 7 issue or subscribe online.

 

By Jeff Denton • Senior Pastor, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship

0 Comments

Public Notice - Subscribe

Related News

The Garden of Eatin’

The Garden of Eatin’

The great thing about growing a lot of your own food is the ability to walk out the back door and pick it. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. If there’s a downside to growing a garden (we had seven garden areas this year), it’s that it seems that most of the...

read more
Verses Versus Verses

Verses Versus Verses

If you’re a Baptist from the South, you’re hoping that if there’s a Pearly Gates pop quiz, the question isn’t, “What’s the third verse to any song in the hymnal?” You won’t know the answer. If you’re laughing right now, you know exactly what I’m talking about. In...

read more
Meat and Greet

Meat and Greet

Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Anthony Bourdain Barbecue is a versatile word. It can refer to an outdoor place to cook meat; to cooking meat; and can also reference a gathering of people for the purpose of serving meat cooked...

read more
Real good eatin’

Real good eatin’

My grandfather called it a “Po Boy Lunch.” That meant we were having leftovers in whatever creative way my grandmother came up with. Recently, I took two biscuits from breakfast and loaded them with smoked brisket, and from the garden, purple onions and jalapeños. A...

read more
Comic Relief

Comic Relief

People use different ways to learn to read. Some folks use the vowels and consonants method. Others memorize how the words look.  I used both, but I had a secret weapon many didn’t know about.  Comic books.  While most kids were having, “Fun with Dick...

read more
35 Texas counties eligible for individual disaster aid

35 Texas counties eligible for individual disaster aid

Residents in a total of 35 Texas counties now qualify for individual disaster assistance following a series of severe storms and flooding that began in late April, The Dallas Morning News reported. “I thank our federal partners and emergency response personnel across...

read more
Texas could face long-term water supply deficit

Texas could face long-term water supply deficit

Texas is facing a reckoning on water that we must address if the state wants to secure its future prosperity. The State Water Plan prepared by the Texas Water Development Board projects that Texas faces a long-term water supply deficit of 6.9 million acre-feet in 50...

read more
Hogging the channels

Hogging the channels

 I have a lot of my grandparents in me. I’m cheap. I also love the Arkansas Razorbacks. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to radio, television, and an Arkansas game. I grew up listening to free radio and watching free television. So, the idea of paying...

read more
Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

You would think that there’s only one way to fold towels. But, you’d be wrong. Growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, my momma showed me how to fold them, as well as shirts, socks, underpants, and other personal sundries. I assumed that this skillset would carry me all the...

read more
The Lawn Moore

The Lawn Moore

America really is The Land of Opportunity. Even if there’s only one opportunity, and that opportunity is cutting the grass.  Ashdown, Arkansas, was a pretty typical small American town in the 1960s and 1970s.  Kids weren’t just handed things. If we wanted...

read more
Public Notice - Subscribe