In a world full of constant pressures of how to look, what to do, where to go, what to listen to, what to watch, what you should wear, what you should say, I want to pose the question under this topic of “Influence” – WHAT IS INFLUENCING YOU?
You see, I’m what they call an “influencer”. That’s my full-time job. I influence people, whether I want to or not. There’s so much power with that. It’s honestly terrifying sometimes… I can influence people positively or negatively. I could use it to tell them to constantly want to change their appearance, or to put their hope in the universes verses God, or to buy some product that is complete garbage, OR I could I use it to validate women that their identity is in Jesus, to encourage someone to go vote or volunteer somewhere, or to purchase a product that is actually worth their money! But no pressure, right?!
I believe God entrusts those with power and influence to think wisely how to steward it well. To lead people back to Christ. To give people hope in HIM and not in the universe, not in ourselves, not in our enneagrams, not in our astrology signs… or whatever new thing is popping up now.
What a responsibility AND a gift that is! Lord, I hope I do this well!! *Nervously types that*
To be honest, it makes a bit anxious sometimes that I won’t do it well. I just want to help people. I want girls to feel fully and wholly loved. I want girls to know their identity in Christ so much that they don’t accept mistreatment from guys with bad intentions. I want to pour into people so that they can pour into others. But how can I do that to the best of my ability? How can I pour into people if I’m not FIRST being poured into? How can I INFLUENCE others if I’m not being influenced well?
So I want to ask you, and myself, WHAT IS FIRST INFLUENCING ME?
To go back to my opening paragraph, with all these pressures of the world and things that our eyes see daily, our ears hear daily, how can I be sure that I’m being influenced well?
Proverbs 4:23-27 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
The bible talks about guarding our hearts so much because out of the abundance of it, the mouth speak (Matthew 12:34). Guarding our hearts can mean we are being mindful of what we are mindful of – aka, what we are reading, watching, listening, thinking of, speaking about, and seeing on social media. These things can influence us without us even being aware of it. That’s why the Bible says, give careful thought to the paths for your feet, and I think that includes all those things I just mentioned too.
Are we feeding ourselves the whatever is pure, admirable, lovely, honorable, holy, and praise worthy, (Philippians 4:8) or are we feeding ourselves things that make us question our worth, our value, how we look, what car we drive, if our outfit is nice enough, if our house is decorated well enough. You can fill in the blank for what that might be for you.
I know for me, I’m quick to let other fitness influencers influence me. I feel very self conscious or discouraged about my body after seeing a fitness influencer post their ripped abs or perfectly toned butt. In order to guard my heart and eyes, I have to sometimes mute someone, unfollow them, or quickly scroll past their content, OR remind myself, “That is her journey! Her body doesn’t mean mine is less than.” I let it instead encourage me to keep going, work harder, & motivate me. You have the choice to decide how something will influence you once you’re aware the of the influence. Turning the subconscious influence into conscious influence.
Ask yourself, “How does this effect me? Do I feel good or bad after seeing that? Do I feel more encouraged or discouraged after reading that? How did that make my spirit feel? Does this draw me closer to Jesus or farther?”
Jesus was able to influence thousands of people because he was first influenced by his Father. He didn’t look to the left or the right, he kept His gaze directly on His Father and on His mission. His mission was to preach the gospel, to love people, to be an example, to save people, to redeem people. Imagine if Jesus let the woman at the well confuse Him and tempt Him because He had no guidance and no one leading Him, so consequently, He let her influence Him. Then He wouldn’t have been doing His original mission. Instead, Jesus was so attached to His Father – His vine, His source of truth, love, and life, that in turn, He was able to influence others for good. He didn’t get derailed. He is the perfect example of this kind influence that is used for the kingdom and not for His own self gain.
So I come back to this question, what is influencing you? What are you filling your mind with? Who gives you your identity? “You were running a good race. WHO cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” – Galatians 5:7
WHO is influencing you? I want to stress really quickly about the important of community. Our circle of friends can influence us probably the most without us even knowing it. It’s the reason why Sadie started this community; It’s why I started my community, The Abide Tribe, so that I can give girls more of a Christian community in the midsts of a pandemic. So they can find friends who influence them and encourage them to look more like Jesus every day and abide in Him every day (John15)! Your circle of people has the power to bring you closer to Jesus or to draw you farther away. Choose wisely!
I think the reason why my job is so extremely fulfilling is because I’m able to influence others to know Jesus more. But I have to be lead first. The blind can’t lead the blind (Matthew 15:14). I have to be filled up with Jesus every day so that I can fill other people’s cups. I do that with a mentor, with reading the word daily, worship music, being around Christian community, people speaking into my life, guarding my mind and heart, and taking destructive thoughts captive and submitting them to Christ. I have to abide daily to my source of life. To stay connected to the true vine that gives me life and purpose, my Father in Heaven.
I pray this encourages you to reevaluate what is influencing you so that you can influence others in turn to know Jesus more! You don’t have to carry the title of “Social Media Influencer” to influence others. Every day we are influencing people with our words and actions. I pray this will help you reflect a little bit to say, “Lord, use me to reflect you in all I do.”
Be encouraged, sister <3 You’re doing great and God wants to use you. Let Him. He’s got GREAT things for you!
– Jeanine Amapola
Jeanine Amapola is 26 year old from Dallas, TX but now resides in Los Angeles! She absolutely LOVES nature, adventures, and living life to the fullest! Jeanine is a full-time YouTuber, Influencer, Vlogger, Podcaster, & Online Bible Study Leader. Her main goal in life is to help YOU be more Happy & Healthy in ALL aspects of life! She wants people to just know Jesus more and thrive in life!
Follow Jeanine on Instagram @JeanineAmapola