April 12, 2017
What Kind of Impact Are You Making?
Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border…” (1 Chronicles 4:10 ESV)
Friend to Friend
Years ago I worked with a woman in Nashville named Cindy. She was a no-nonsense publisher for a major music company. Each month she listened to the songs I wrote and gave honest, constructive feedback that required this songwriter-chick to have thick skin and wear big-girl-panties. She was salt and light to me in the work place, but not in ways that I expected or necessarily appreciated at the time.
I didn’t always love what she had to say.
Total honesty? She. Scared. Me. Silly.
I wrestled with her strong, bristly opinions while at the same time grew from
the pruning of her wise, professional words. She challenged me toward greater excellence and she wasn’t afraid to speak difficult words of truth.
One thing I will never forget: as she listened to the new songs I wrote, she regularly insisted that I was a “worship leader/worship writer” instead of a Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) writer/artist. Drove me bananas because I was SURE I was a CCM writer/artist.
Over the years, Cindy and I became friends and eventually, I came to realize that she was right. I am a worship leader and worship writer. And it’s not only who I am, it’s who I always was. Even when I didn’t know it and insisted otherwise.
Cindy died in her early fifties.
Cancer stole her from us.
A few nights before she went on to be with the Lord, a large group of Nashville’s finest songwriters gathered at her bedside to celebrate her life that was salty and bright for Jesus. To thank her for her impact, share stories, and sacredly sing her to the other side of glory. A knot held my throat captive as I watched the gathering online via video. What a legacy. Cindy poured wisdom into so many people, she said and did things that caused others to think big thoughts about God, and spurred them on toward excellence.
She lived a life of influence because she was intentional about being salt and light in my life and in the lives of many others.
I want to die like that.
I want to live like that.
In the Bible, a man named Jabez asked God for all the influence God would give him. Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked” (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Jabez wanted to live with impact to the max.
He pleaded to be a difference maker. I’m right there with him.
We all have influence. The question is will we use our influence to sway our friends toward an awesome movie or will we influence them toward our awesome God? Will we choose to live in a way that causes our unbelieving neighbor or co-worker to want to hear more about Jesus? Will we teach a young wife to understand how to respect her husband, or help a young mom realize that God is honored when she nurtures her demanding, thankless children? Will we help the weary parent of a prodigal see that her child’s rebellion is not her failure and not her child’s final faith chapter?
It all begins with a choice.
If we want to be women of impact, we need to live with our eyes wide open to God-opportunities. We need to get beyond our own agendas and move in the direction of HIS agenda. It is not about doing more of what you are already doing – it is about listening to the whispers of Jesus in the middle of the grocery store, or at the nail salon, or in your cubicle, in the next pew, in your living room, or classroom.
Being a woman of impact is not about doing more each day, it’s about living to be led by Jesus with the days you are given.
It all begins with a choice. If we want to be women of impact, we need to live with our eyes wide open to God-opportunities. We need to get beyond our own agendas and ask God what HIS agenda is. Let’s ask God to bless us and enlarge the borders of our influence for Him today!
Dear Lord, Thank You for impacting my life with your grace and truth. Please open my eyes to see the opportunities all around me to point others to You. Stir my heart to make today and every day count for you.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Consider the people in your life that you influence. Pray for fresh vision, courage, and opportunities to make an impact in their lives for Christ.
GIVEAWAY: I want to impact YOU today, so I’m giving away 3 digital copies of the music soundtrack to my latest book, I WANT IT ALL. For a chance to win, CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave a comment. Who do you want to impact?
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study right in the back of the book; no extra purchase required. I WANT IT ALL is easy to read yet contains compelling and challenging content. You'll connect with the stories, probably dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little ... because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS.
(CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Wednesday, 12 April 2017.