Can we spot the difference? And once we do…together, can we do the super brave thing… with the promise of having a super bright OUTFluence?
More on those three words in a bit. Stick with me- I am on your team!
In Point of View, I share a story about how I love to run (and hike for that matter!). On a long run, I noticed that my heel was aching, but I let it go day after day, and went out with the same shoes on and went on the same adventure. The problem was my heel getting bruised every time I would run or walk, or hike. SO I took a break. The heel got better. And then I decided to get back out and run again, and the same pain came back. This time, I was going to find out what was causing the pain. As I felt a bump…a defective seam. Right on one of the heels.
So…What did I do? Stop moving forward again? – NO way!
So what did I do? I cut the back of the shoe out (actually my husband had to cut it out as it was harder to do than I thought!). He thought FOR SURE I had lost my mind. But once the heel of that shoe was gone, I laced up and ran out the door… and you know what??? NO pain, FREE stride, and I was doing what I was made to do!!
Here is the thing- it wasn’t that I needed to stop moving altogether.
Three things were made super clear:
1. Something had to go.
2. I needed help removing what was hurting me.
3. But the first step was finding out exactly where the unhealthy pressure and pain was coming from.
Let’s talk about pressure. It is the constant force on something, right? It can be motivating for sure…or it can crush you a little bit at a time. If about 90% of brands use Instagram to market themselves, and those corporations know that constant INFLUENCE has power to capture your willingness to buy something new or share something fun, then we also know, in our quiet scrolling moments- the power it has to reach way more than our bank accounts, it can reach our minds and then our hearts.
With millions of messages and images coming at us, it is natural to wonder, when that “less than” or hurt feeling creeps in, if deleting social media would solve the problem. Sometimes, that may be a way to help. Other times a “break” for a month or more is just what is needed! When I have done this, and I’ll be really open here, it gets better… but if I don’t figure out what was placing constant unhealthy pressure on me- and make a change, the same hurt comes back as soon as the same app comes back on my phone. Friends- we love connecting, and right now it seems even more important to do so any way we can- so it is key that we take an edit, and ask if every post and account is carrying us through our days or hurting us along the way.
Do all these things we are scrolling though deserve the space in your heart and mind?
The answer is no, but if we are not intentional about it, those lies and disqualifying messages will soon move in like a bad roommate into your heart-space .
TRUTH: We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
SO let’s do this edit together!
Here. We. Go.
Let’s do that by taking inventory of what we are taking in- to the test that Paul speaks of.
Lets make an appointment with our Instagram the next time we open it, with each account that pops up, and we scroll by, we have the chance and freedom to say- “I hear that, I see that, and I’m holding it for a moment…(this is what Paul talks about when he says take every thought captive.) and I am going to decide whether it is an Influence (truth to be invited into my mind) or a SINfluence…( asked to leave the heart party!)
Sisters -The Influences and Sinfluences are coming in like crazy…So what can we do? We hold that thought and speak truth over it. And decide which category it falls into, SINFLUENCE or INFLUENCE.
What does doing that that really look like? How do we tell if something is INfluence talking or a SINfluence talking? Let’s break this down. Is it shaming you? SINfluence talking.
- Is it nudging you to make an important change in a habit without guilt? INfluence talking.
- Is it telling you who you are in God’s eyes (beloved, unique, forgiven, beautiful, chosen)? INfluence talking.
- Is it making you question your value and worth? SINfluence talking.
- Does it ask you why you should even try? SINfluence talking.
- Does it empower you to give it your best? INFLUENCE talking.
- Do you leave that account feeling like nothing you have or wear is good enough? SINfluence talking.
- Do you feel excited to try a fun creative look or new hair style? INfluence talking.
- Is this account or person someone that brings peace and point me to God’s word? INfluence talking.
- Does this account make me feel less beautiful than God calls me? SINfluence talking.
- Does this post make me feel called to serve others? Influence talking.
Well done sis!!! You have asked some really hard questions! Some good news:
Influence begins withIN… because Christ is withIN you and wants to help you.
And placed in each one of us- a friend and helper and guide: the gift of the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus did not leave us to deal with this world and all the INFLUENCE and SINFLUENCE alone! Yes we have and need one another, and YES we have and need HIM. SO, he left His Spirit – like an amazing bestie roommate Within us. For us. Championing us. Nudging us to do that brave thing and decide what INfluneces are worth following on this hike of life.
Yes, for our own heart- but just as important, there is someone out there who needs your voice to be one of influence.
My sweet friend Jamee reminded me of how many “one anothers” we can find in the word of God. We are called to pay attention to what has INfluence on us so that we can bless one another with our OUTfluence! How cool is this:
God chooses YOU to be used for His Glory to influence those around you. That is pure motivation to check out your influences even more important because: we can only pour out what is poured in!
If both INFLUENCE and SINFLUENCE directly impact OUTFLUENCE, we need to do something about that.
How do we know if SINflunce has more room in your heart and mind? Take a peek at your OUTfluence. Are you having a week where you are less than encouraging in your OUTFLUENCE to those around you? Has envy or jealousy or lack of patience or gossip snuck its way into your hiking group or sorority house or dorm or office? Check to see what you have been letting IN.
What you are pouring out is the indicator. And it indicates we might need to adjust how much of what we are looking at and letting in his INFLUENCE or SINFLUENCE.
Here is the tricky part…. It is not as if you are following someone telling you to commit crimes. It the account that daily, is making us doubt who we are and what we are created to be one scroll at a time.. It is that “not enough: voice… the one who, the more time you spend with them slowly makes you feel less than.
Would you follow someone who discourages you and make you question your outfit, hair and beauty and strength all the way up the hill on that hike we talked about?…
I have a feeling that just by reading this, you are someone that is called to lead, and to INFLUENCE.
How incredible is it to have a God who wants your follow, and who offers you more than LIKES.
You have a God Offers you LOVE, because he offered LOVE Himself, on a cross, for YOU.
The way to your heart is through your thoughts. Decide to guard what impacts your thoughts takes courage.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, Guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”
Guard against SINFLUENCERS who slowly make you question the TRUTH that you are God’s great idea, beautiful chosen, beloved, forgiven, that He has a place for you, you are invited, and He is WITH YOU.
And then take that INFLUENCE , and make someone smile with your OUTFLUENCE!
Hi God, it’s me … thank you for connecting me to so many people, especially in a time and season where distancing is real. Thank you for creating me precisely to be who I am, where I am. God I know there is a lot that is coming at me. Help me take a good look at each post and follow and ask myself the hard question:
“Is this an INFLUENCE or SINFLUENCE on my mind and heart?” – and with Your help God, Make a change – to add or subtract accounts or images that are not nutrients for my growing heart. And to walk alongside friends online that encourage me on the hike up the mountain of life. Empower me to steward my gifts of being an INFLUENCER well- one that encourages, and points to YOU, your grace, mercy and love for all. Thank you God for loving me so much, for securing a place for me in Heaven, and for the guidance to know what should get space in my heart, by editing what my mind is focused on. Thank you for new eyes to see what is coming from you God, and identify the voice behind the message. I’m yours God and you are with me. In the name of Jesus- I pray, Amen”
By His Grace-
Your LO sis, Elisabeth
Special thanks to my young at heart LO sisters starting with @legitsadierob and the amazing @abhasselbeck @malloryhass and our loving and strong daughter Grace- for taking time to pray, brainstorm with me about this post, and for always pointing my eyes up! You are my mentors everyday!
Follow Elisabeth on Instagram @elisabethhasselbeck
Check out Elisabeth’s Books: Point of View, Deliciously GFree, and Gfree Diet.
AND coming out in February: FLASHLIGHT NIGHT: and Adventure in Faith for KIDS!