4. Sphere of Influence
Points to Ponder:
Often we are unaware of the fact that we influence our surroundings – consciously or unconsciously. This week, we’re going to think about how our intention impacts the way we influence our surroundings. When we have a mindset to be of service and align with God’s heart and loving nature, then our efforts are in line with the laws of universe. This allows us to experience a deeper sense of our own value and at the same time a rewarding sense of making a positive impact on our surroundings. We can call such an impact a sphere of influence.
Each of us has a sphere of influence: our friends, family, peers, teachers, co-workers. There are people watching, listening, and impacted by our attitude and interactions.
The greatest influence emanates from who you are, that is to say your character, motivation, and intention, as expressed in your actions.
Service is a powerful way to impact our sphere of influence. Through service we open people’s hearts.
As people are moved by our actions and the culture we create, they become curious about who and what we represent. True Parents have taught and demonstrated the power of service in breaking down barriers and even reconciling enemies.
You never know when you might be an agent of change or influence in your environment.
For example, 50+ young Unificationists have attended Chabot College in Hayward, CA consistently over the last fifteen years. These students have often expressed surprise when professors remarked “Oh, these Bay Area Family Church students are so wonderful to have in class.” One professor even commented, “You two are like my daughters, I look forward to seeing you every day.” He asked a lot of questions: Why are you so bright? Giving?
In school, in work, in your relationships, God wants to work through you to be a testimony to all the love and blessings you’ve received in your life.
Discussion questions for before/after the reading:
- Can you think of a time when someone expressed how your or your group’s attitude, mindset, and/or way of interacting positively influenced the environment around you?
- What is a current environment (class, work, home) you could intentionally impact in a more positive way?
“If you have God’s love reflected in you, you want to reach out to every corner of the world, because God’s mind is like that. If you have that attitude, the people around you will be attracted to you like iron filings to a magnet.” – TF, Heart
“Strange and marvelous things will happen with constant regularity as you alter your life and begin living in harmony with the laws of the universe.” – Earl Nightingale
“When the universe revolves around the universal commitment to love, your overall sphere of influence unfolds to embrace everything. That is why, although you are but one individual, you can create the atmosphere of the kingdom of heaven in which your family and you can dwell. Your influence will connect to every level.” – TF, CGMG, Book 5
“When we unite, we can be totally interconnected. You are blessed families who are connected to one another with a strong bond of heart, and based upon this, you need to cooperate fully with one another. To build a church based on heart, whether you have a public mission or not, gear your every action, word and attitude first for other people and the environment. You must be considerate of those around you.” – True Mother, 9/3/2012
“Your mind and body unite when you are truly 100 percent grateful. When this happens, those around
you become happier. If you live your life with a heart of gratitude for the blessings heaven has given you, I think you will be able to create even more joy among those around you, and you will be able to spread these blessings to your family, society, nation and world.” – True Mother, 11/24/2012
“You should always be in the position of a subject partner, centered on God’s love. You should be able to influence others. How can you influence others? By giving. When you give, how should you give? You should not give leftovers. If you give leftovers from your meal, even if people eat them, afterwards they will spit them out in disgust. Let’s say you have five rice cakes to give out to people. If you pick up one, put it down and then pick another, wondering how much to give, it is worse than not giving at all. Without any hesitation you should just pick up a handful of them and give them out. Then people will thank you. But if you hesitate in giving, people will criticize you even after you do them that favor. Thus, when you give, you should do so with God’s parental heart.” – TF, CSG, Book 14, Chapter 4
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
This week we invite you to think of a way you can serve those in your current environment (class, work, home). Share your experience carrying out your intentional acts of service when we meet next week!
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey