Influence Not Acquisition

influence-2There’s a perspective to life which seems to be obscured to the majority of people. It is hidden from people’s understanding. Not many people have discovered the essence of life while few who did aren’t ready to live by it. This in turn makes individuals of them to approach life issues as seems good in their sights. There are lots of abuses; abuse of privilege, status, talents, natural and acquired skills, profession, authority, grace, gifts, relationships, etc. The world (nations, states, communities, families, schools and organizations) is chaotic. Our world is becoming dangerous to inhabit and hard to make any reasonable accomplishment.

As each day passes by so is the magnitude of hazards on the increase. By watching the happenings in our contemporary world, critical and serious minded people raised series of questions that are philosophical in nature. Two of their provoking questions say “Why are we in this world?” and “What is life all about after all?” This article is bent on supplying answers to the above so the readers might be on board for a meaningful life while on this terrestrial bulb.

Let me start by saying that the world was woven and built on relationship. Everywhere you find yourself, you‘ve got to relate with one person, group, organization, or the other. That was how God made it. He doesn’t design this side of eternity to be lived in isolation. This therefore being the case, you discover that you have several people around life beginning from your immediate family members; there’s a divine purpose behind it. In a way, a reputable principal officer of the Nigerian Baptist Convention have made an attempt to establishing the purpose in a simple language when he said “Life is not about achievements, it is not all about acquiring wealth to oneself…rather, it is about influence. It is by making contributions….”

When He made these statements, the Holy Spirit shed light upon it in my spirit. Then I discovered that the real essence of this life is about making contributions to impact and improve our world. Subsequently, I discovered that, the above statement of purpose is also scriptural. The picture of God at creation came to my mind. When God finished the creation of the whole world and planted a garden in the east of Eden, He put the man He’d made inside it to keep and tend it (See Genesis 2:15).

The man was saddled with responsibilities; it was never about what to acquire. The man God made was to labour to improve his world. He wasn’t to gather anything for himself. Rather, he is to simply live to maintain and upgrade where God had put him. Failure to do that, failure to perform his sole given responsibility will make his environment turned bushy. This will, in no doubt, negate the divine programme. Friend, the ignorance of the right perception of our function on Earth – making influence – has made the world to grow not only weeds around us but also thorns and thistles. I speak here in a figurative sense.

These wild unwanted plants which the world had grown around us are causing serious troubles. Lots of social vices have shoot up like thorns which pierce to the point of tears. May the Lord rescue us. Amen!

I suppose you will say ‘amen’ to that. Nonetheless, influence, not just acquisition of things should be the correct motive for living. It is expected that you make positive, indelible impact on your world – your society, community, state and country. It starts from those who surround you.

This may put you to awe as it may negate what you’ve known of life. What would your world remember you for? What contributions, influence or impact will come to the heart of men in memory of you when you are dead? This should always be your thought “What can I do to improve the condition of the person(s) around me? What meaningful thing can I contribute to upgrade my environment such that when I depart from there, I don’t leave it the way it has being?” This is the ideal philosophy of life. Any life philosophy that is based on self-acquisition or what you can get alone is faulty! It has ended some people’s life in shamble.

Furthermore, it is written in the holy book, “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribe will live.” (Proverbs 15:27 NKJV) Anyone greedy for unjust gain will definitely bring calamity to his household. Who desires to give inheritance of trouble to his family? None of course! Indeed, no serious minded person will ever do that. Covetous leadership could bring trouble to a nation. An employee who is greedy for material acquisition may bring problem to his employer. A wife who is only concerned about marital gain and not what she could contribute to building a healthy family will soon bring catastrophe to her spouse. This anomaly should be checked that orderliness may resume our world.

Howbeit, there’s need to distinguish the kind of influence we are to make. There are negative and positive influences. We have several husbands, for instance, who influence their wives badly. Several teachers and lecturers have been found as sole contributors to the ill-luck that befell their students. A lot of communities today lack unity and harmony due to the negative influence of their ungodly rulers. More so, some nations are suffering today not because they are not blessed but because of mal-administration from wrongly oriented leadership. God isn’t expecting anyone to make contributions that will be to the disadvantage of our world. Rather, He wishes that we all contribute our quota positively while we yet live.

“But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the ruler of the city, crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Acts 17:6 (NKJV)

That was about Apostle Paul and his team in Thessalonica. Their presence and influence were so much felt in the whole land to the extent that a great multitude of people were persuaded to join the Christian faith. However, against Paul and his team arose a group of envious, hard hearted men with the charge “… these men who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” While I’m not too much concerned about the negative attitude of those envious men, their statement made me to realize that everywhere Paul and his team went, they usually leave positive influences on the inhabitants of the place for the kingdom’s purpose. Again, the expression; “… have come here too …” presupposes that they had being to several other places before they got to Thessalonica. Their contributions for Christ’s sake touched the then world. Apostle Paul and his team weren’t concerned about wealth or money acquisition.

Being fully sure that their reward is in heaven, they expended their time, energy, talents, resources, grace, gifts, etc. on impacting their world. The testimony of their influence and contribution still speaks today. This is the kind of mindset God wants us to possess. It was the same kind of mindset that Christ Jesus our redeemer had (See Philippians 2:5). Meanwhile, you may not be able to contact the mindset if you are yet to know and accept the Lord Jesus.

No one can perform the issue raised in this article if he’s yet to encounter Christ. It’ll appear like a mere foolish talk to him. He can’t understand them because the things of the Lord are spiritually discerned. Living a fulfilled life requires that you become a relative of Christ by giving your life to Him wholly. I assure you that you will not regret doing so if you dare to take this step. The Lord bless you as you respond positively.

By Solomon Oladipupo