Are you a fighter?
Most of my approximately 5000 friends on Facebook are fighters. We are the people who take to Facebook to speak out for our beliefs.
You’re the kind of people I want in my life.
We have a biblical worldview and we see the direction society is headed. It’s our responsibility to speak out.
Ezekiel 33:6 gives the principle:
“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.”
We’re not willing to remain silent. We couldn’t live with ourselves if we didn’t warn of the coming danger that we see so clearly.
And that’s a good thing. A fighter is someone who doesn’t give up.
But I’m trying to learn how to become more than just a fighter. And I want to help you see why this matters.
We need to be champions.
Here are two definitions, both useful:
1. A champion is a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else.
2. A champion is a winner.
We need to be both of those things.
The key to achieving #2 is that we have to start by achieving #1.
What separates the complainer from the happy warrior? It’s this aspect of fighting for a cause or on behalf of someone else.
We have a choice to make:
We can be the kind of people who list problems.
We can be the kind of people who enlist others in creating solutions.
A champion in this context is someone who speaks out for the truth in a way that rallies others, attracting people rather than pushing them away.
But what’s the secret to that?
(Because you can’t just change the truth to become more attractive…)
Here’s what has worked for me — I call it the “Principle of Influence.”
It goes like this:
If you want to have more influence, then surround yourself with people who are capable of being influenced.
I have a large extended family. Ten nieces and nephews, and a dozen in-laws on my wife’s side. When we get together there will be 20–30 people.
Here’s the thing…
My goal is to have a good influence on the people around me. Who in this group do you think I’m most capable of influencing, long-term?
That’s right: the kids.
Who do you think I spend the most time with?
I’ll be the one playing Let’s Go Fishing and Battleship. I’ll be the one soaked head to toe by water balloons.
I’ll be honest, some percent of that choice is because these kids are awesome.
But some percent of that choice is because I want my nieces and nephews to care about me down the road. I want to be an influence in their lives now and especially in the years to come. Will they care about what I say and what I believe once they become teenagers and young adults? I’m thinking about that right now.
See what I’m doing? I’m following this “Principle of Influence.” I’m surrounding myself with people who are capable of being influenced.
When it comes to speaking out in the public sphere, you can do the same.
Whether it’s through writing, public speaking, preaching, or spreading your message by YouTube and Facebook, you need to think like more than a fighter. You need to think like a champion.
A champion is someone who is winning. Where can you win? Go there.
Who can you influence? Talk to them.
For goodness sake, don’t keep talking to people who think you’re wrong. Once someone makes it clear they strongly disagree with you — move along.
We waste too much time.
We should be talking to people who are capable of being influenced. Spend your limited time and energy where it does some good.
If you’re a fighter like me, I want to suggest two commitments right now:
1) When people want to fight with you, let the conversation die.
2) Don’t work on getting your vocal opponents to listen to you. Work on getting your listeners to become vocal allies.
When we do this, we become more than fighters. We become champions.
Originally published at www.codylibolt.com on September 10, 2017.