We live in a digital age now and one of the number one way “influence” is determined is by how big of an audience you can attract. When business is involved, that is determined by products sold or ticket sales, but when information is involved… it is calculated by eyeballs (or ear drums I guess). We measure TV shows by viewership, websites by unique visitors and blogs by number of readers. There is training and classes and even full degrees built around how to attract an audience. The only problem is, once you have the audience… now what?
Even in our own non-famous lives, we attract audiences throughout our life. Various life changes and life events can change your audience. You can grow an audience through amazing events of recognition or through sad events of frustration or sadness in your life. Either way, the things you do in life do attract various audiences throughout your life. When you have that audience, whether if for a long term or a fleeting moment, you have a sphere of influence and an opportunity. What will you do with it.
All too often, people miss the opportunity to impact their audience. One person gains the national stage with multiple gold medals, but rather than influence people for greatness, they embarrass their nation with a drunken attitude. Another could gain an audience going through a horrible tragedy, but be so consumed they miss that opportunity as well. For good or bad, honor or tragedy, God gives us chances to influence others.
When we look throughout the Gospel, we see amazing things happen. In most of these circumstances, there is an audience drawn in through this miracle. What happens next is always more important than the miracle itself.
Just after Christ had ascended and the Spirit had filled the apostles, just such a moment occurred. Peter healed a lame beggar. The healing was great but what followed was better. “While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel…” (Acts 3:11:12a) He then went on to preach an amazing sermon, really his first sermon as Peter the Rock (that Jesus would build His church on). [The rest of the story is here]
Sometimes you will earn an audience for something you do and other times you will have an audience because of something that happens to you.
I once worked with a lady that was pregnant when I left the company. She wanted nothing more than to be a mommy. She was so excited. About two years later, I bumped into her at a trade show and asked how motherhood was doing? What I didn’t know was that when she went to the hospital to deliver her baby about 18 months prior, the baby was delivered still. I personally can’t think of a harder thing to go through than the loss of your child, at any age. She quickly gained an audience as friends and family and neighbors came around to console and help her. But empowered by the Spirit, she and her husband were able to turn around and influence this newly gained audience. Despite their own trauma, they knew that if they could lean on Christ during the hardest time in their life… relying on His strength… they just may influence others. And they did. Several people came to know the Lord as a result of watching this couple face this horrible trauma.
Be aware of your opportunities. You always have an audience, big or small, new or old… there’s always someone you could be influencing. Are you influencing them for Christ?
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