Choose one famous “influencer” you follow — what would you say is the main message they communicate? Do you agree or disagree with that message? What are some reasons why an “influencer” might lose their audience?
Having influence is a big deal. With words and examples from your life, you are able to persuade others to maybe go in a specific direction or make life decisions. But there is one very important thing that limits our ability to influence: consistency.
Check out the importance of consistency in James 2:14-17:
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”
Faith and good deeds go hand in hand, but as James noted long ago, what we believe and what we actually do might not totally align. What are some ways a follower of Jesus could live a life that doesn’t match— isn’t consistent with— the message of Jesus?
If the behavior doesn’t match the message, influence is significantly diminished.
There are many different surface reasons for why behavior might not match the message, but I think they can all be boiled down to pride and arrogance. There’s a huge part of us that just doesn’t want to submit in humility to the message of Jesus.
Let’s check out another, straightforward verse from James 3:13:
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.”
What’s one message your life is currently communicating that you’re really proud of? What’s one message your life is currently communicating that you’d like to change?
What’s the most important message you’d like your life to communicate?
Re-read James 3:13. How do you think wisdom leads to humility?