Dr Charles Stanley Impression or Impact?
On Sunday July 17, 2011 Dr. Charles Stanley delivered a television sermon titled Impression or Impact? It was a powerful message to me about the difference between the two and it was equally clear in the message that our desire should be to impact people and not to impress them.
The online introduction reads:
What kind of impact are you having? Are you being salt and light in your community? Or is the impact of your life diminished because of sin, compromise, or worldliness?
The text for the sermon was Matthew 5: 13-16 from a portion of the Sermon on the Mount:Salt and Light“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Most people I know have more people that impress them than impact them in their lives. I find that sad. At the same time, North American society is more focused on hero worship than on people who are impacting their families, communities and the world.
Impacting people requires that you think less of yourself and more about other people. It requires investing time in people and their lives. You impact people every day with your words, emotions and actions. Why not purposefully impact people positively rather than just living for your own purposes.
There are a number of ways that you can purposefully impact people. One great way is to help others in whatever way you can. By giving your time, passion, and resources as an everyday philanthropist you can eternally impact people and their families for generations. It is very easy to help others in small ways. You can encourage and support others with your words. You can encourage them in writing by email or by mailing them a letter. You can drive someone who doesn’t have a car somewhere to assist them with their chores. Taking time to visit people when they are sick truly impacts them. I have visited numerous people at home and in hospital who were very sick. The bonds that are formed when you take the time to do that last forever. People will speak forever about the impact you made on them by visiting them when they are sick.
As important as impacting people positively is, it is equally important for have people that impact your life. You can read biographies of people who have made contributions to the world for instance. You can read personal development authors. You can listen to sermons from preachers that impact you. You can reach out and develop friendships with people you would like to be associated with. If you do not have people in your life who positively impact you then you are at the mercy of the negativity that prevails in today’s society.