The school bell has rung, class is now in session.
What comes to mind when you hear the word influencer? Some may think of peer pressure situations, while others may think of social media. I would like to point out that influencers come in different packages.
Influencers can come in the form of an idea, person, song, tv and news or thought. We have to be very careful who and what is influencing us.
Do not be deceived (or, to be lead astray, to wander, to roam aimlessly, to be lead away from the truth and into error and sin, to mislead, to seduce): “Evil (or, bad, worthless, wicked, vicious, malicious, cowardly, destructive) company (or, companionship, communion, conversation, speech, talk) corrupts (or, destroys, spoils, waste away, to utterly decay, to corrupt fully, to deprave) good (or, moral, useful, pleasing, virtuous) habits (or, morals, character, one’s manner of life).” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Be aware of the company you keep. How often have you seen people go down the wrong path or make a decision they end up regretting after being influenced by selfish, destructive people? You do not have to look very far to see that most people who end up in jail, hurt or killed, usually got there through corrupt influencers. Some “influencers” may not be cognizant of the harm they are inflicting on others, but whether or not they intend to harm, the end result can be disastrous! What you must remember is that Bad Influencers do not walk around with a t-shirt that reads:
They usually come to you as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Looking as though they are your friend, but underneath it all, they are ravenous wolves looking to lead you to the slaughter through the words, action or deeds they commit behind your back. It is important to spot these wolves in your life before you are destroyed spiritually, mentally and physically.
How do you know you are being influenced? For myself, as a believer, I have the Holy Spirit to convict me when I am in the wrong, also if I start to notice the big “C” occurring, that is a huge clue that an influencer is at work in my life. The big “C” is compromise. Comprise is when you are willing to give up a little in order to settle or find common ground. This can happen in different areas of our lives but never should affect what we know and understand as right and wrong. If you ever feel you are starting to compromise your ethics and moral obligation, then you need to examine yourself to see which imposter influencer has crept into your lives. #shoutouttoHealthPE
There is a game I was introduced to (by my students) called Among Us. This game is really interesting, but to make a long story short, there are imposters among the crew, and you do not know who they are. If you do not figure it out in time, the imposters will ultimately destroy you before you have time to complete your destiny/task. This resonated with me because it is exactly how things are happening to us when it comes to influencers. Every negative thing that happens to us will affect us in the mind, body and spirit. Think about what I am saying on that level.
When an influencer is negative, it is imperative that you recognize and remove it from your space. In order to be able to recognize if it is negative, you have to have a standard you are comparing it too. For me, my standard of truth is the bible. So I base my morals and code of ethics from there. It allows me to have a threshold when determining what is right or wrong.
For example, if there is a celebrity that does wonderful volunteerism, and has great photo opportunities, displaying them giving money to the homeless, but promotes a lifestyle that influences children to participate in high-risk activities; I would not be interested in aligning myself with that influencer. This is because in the grand scheme of things, they are seen doing good, but still promotes and influences children to do things that could harm themselves. I cannot tell you how often the students I taught in the past made certain lifestyle choices, tried alcohol or other substances because they saw or heard their favorite celebrity promote it. It is uncanny!
If you continue to entertain bad influences, whether it is in the form of a person, movie, song, book, show, etc… it will affect you and cause you to start compromising. Things that you would have never said before will began to graze your lips; thoughts you would have never entertained before will began to make a regular cameo in your mind. This is the beginning of the seed of bad influences being planted into our lives.
Deal with negative influencers like you would deal with a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Do not be deceived by their smooth words or sunny dispositions. Negative influencers are dangerous for your mental, physical and spiritual health. Bad company corrupt good character.
Conduct a self-examination – Do a lot of negativity surround your thoughts? Are most of your inner circle of people around you worldly minded, self-serving and mean-spirited? Do you find yourself discontented and always comparing yourself with others? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you have a bad influencer present in your life.
My prayer is that we all will identify the origin of the bad influencers among us, and eliminate them, before they destroy us.
The school bell has wrong, class dismissed!