Responsibility and Influence II

Some more thoughts from the coffee night!

You've done some thinking about responsibility and influence in your own life. Would you like to share some of it?

The topic for tonight centres around the words ‘responsibility’ and ‘influence’. Both are very good sort of words. When these attributes are properly demonstrated, they would be shown by good, upright sort of people.

They might also be shown by people who were trying very hard to be good and be right and be righteous.

I am a person who takes responsibility very seriously. And because of that, people have said that I exert a certain amount of influence. But I think sometimes – often - I am responsible because I am trying to prove my own goodness and my own rightness. Not always, but often. Often enough for me to get confused by it.

When my sense of responsibility comes from a need to prove myself, or do the right thing so that other people will love me or so that God will be pleased with me, it is a wrong responsibility. It is responsibility completely based on myself. And any influence that comes from that responsibility is based on me as well.

Yes, I might influence people, perhaps in ways that appear positive to begin with. But in the end, what hopeless influence that is! I’m no role model for anyone on my own.

And personally, when I hear the words ‘responsibility’ and ‘influence’ I get a bit bogged down, a little heavy-hearted. I think,

“Gosh, what do I have to do now?” or “What should I be like as a Christian?” or “I’m not responsible enough, and I’ll never have any influence for God”.

My language becomes a whole lot of have to, should, must. Lots of trying really hard.

So in approaching this topic, I would prefer to talk about not responsibility – but joy – and not influence – but overflow.

Because true Chrsitian responsibility comes directly from joy in God and true Christian influence is the beautiful, natural overflow of that joy to others around us.