What’s better; for us to have power or influence?
Businesses obtain financial power through producing goods and services that we need or want. Governments obtain political power through promises and actions that align with our value system.
Nevertheless, though these entities hold power for a time, they rarely have long-standing influence.
In John 13, Jesus shows us how to gain lasting influence.
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (13:3-5)
Even though, “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power,” He still chooses an act of service instead of lordship. Jesus had all the power. He easily could have made the disciples wash His feet. However, Jesus shows us the difference between having power and having influence.
Power is generally taken through forceful means; but influence is given through shared experience.
This morning, take a bit of time to read through John 13.
Consider the people you’re currently working with and serving alongside. Are you trying to obtain power over them, or are you influencing them through acts of service and shared experience?
Spend some time in prayer over your coworkers and ministry partners. Ask God what you could do today, to swing the pendulum back from power and towards influence.
Is there a difference between power and influence? How have you seen them played out in your workplace, church or ministry? Which one was more successful and why?