You are supposed to influence. It's your destiny. Wherever you are, whatever you do.
On social media even. Seriously.
Don't believe me?
It's true. You were born for such a season as this, and right now, in this time, in this slice of history on earth, your participation on social media may have been divinely planned. It might be part of your purpose here.
Believe it or not.
There are about 8 billion people on the planet right now. According to Brandwatch, a majority of them, nearly 5 billion, are on the internet. Of those, aproximately 4 billion are influencing on social media.
That's right, influencing.
BUT, you say, but you can be on social media and not influence. You can post pics of cute kids and fabulous food and pretty flowers and adorable baby animals. Your sweet grandma, your great job, your new haircut.
Yeah, right, but when post those things, what do you expect the response on the part of the people who see it to be? You want them to “like” it, right?
You are influencing to garner a “like” of your enviable vacation or well-dressed family or impressive new job. Or, in my case, cute baby goats and super adorable grandchildren.
You want to influence people to like what you post.
To like you.
At the very least you are influencing yourself. Admit it. You like those pics enough to want everyone else to like them too.
Okay, so it may give us joy to post those things, to share. Especially when we are sharing for distant friends and relatives. But let's keep things real.
If you are on social media, and chances are good that you are, and you don't have a side hustle, you may not think of your own ability to influence. Or maybe you do. Maybe you own the social influencing thing. Maybe you think you are the answer to so many problems. Maybe you love to influence, and you have the numbers to prove it!
Egotism won't prove profitable in the end. But neither will sitting back on the sidelines, squandering God-give opportunities.
Listen, for those of us who didn’t grow up on social media, the benefits of such are a tough pill to swallow, as they say. We did without it before, certainly we don’t need it now.
But do we?
Like it or not, social media has had an impact on all of our lives. Sometimes that impact is rough. Sometimes it’s shameful and disgusting. It’s full of nearsighted opinions and foolishness. The vitriol and hate can be appalling. And oh, so hurtful!
Most of the time, it's a pack of lies. But there is good there too!
So, shouldn’t we at least attempt to counter whatever darkness is there with light? Shouldn’t we at least show a little love there? Shouldn't we endeavor to speak truth into deception?
We aren't supposed to cover our light! Why would we avoid shinning it in the dark caverns of social media? Why would we shy away from difficult conversations there as if our light could be extinguished?
Let's own our light!
It can't be taken out without our permission. No matter the darkness around us. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness." (John 8:12)
Like all things God has a handle on, even social media can be used to produce good.
That's where you come in.
Again, I do realize there are some drawbacks to social media. The point here is not to dispute them but to acknowledge opportunities to spite them. Isn’t there a verse in the Bible about God making all things come together for good, for those called according to his purpose? (Romans 8:28)
If you’re on social media, and chances are, you are, are you using it for good? Are you fulfilling your destiny there?
In John 21:7, when Jesus instructed Peter to feed his sheep because of Peter's love for him, he didn’t mean physical sustenance. He meant so much more. In Matthew 28:19-20 when he told his followers go out and make disciples of all people, there was so much implied.
Call it a lot of things. Call it loving and feeding and caring and providing and teaching. Call it influencing.
All I’m saying is, I hope you aren’t backing away from commentary on social media, commentary you know will HELP society, out of fear. Or misunderstanding.
I hope you aren’t believing any lies contrary to your destiny, including the one that your voice won't be heard amidst the cacophony, that it won't be protected there, that you won't be able to overcome.
The loudest voice in the room isn't necessarily the right one.
Or the favored one.
I hope you see the necessity for the influence of truth there, of GOOD. I trust you want to be part of the solution in sharing it.
In all places.
Social media can be a platform for truth. While we can, let's use it. For little doses of encouragement. And big signs of God’s presence.
Don't bury what you've been given under a tree, as the parable goes.
Invest it wherever there is opportunity.