The Law of Influence Part 6
Amos Judges Leaders – Amos 5:7-17
Amos is sometimes called the angry prophet. Most of his words express heated emotion. He condemns leaders who fail to provide justice for their people. Amos 5:7-17 contains his lamentation and call for repentance to those who turn justice into bitterness.
When leaders act unjustly, their influence creates a ripple effect. God hates injustice, but especially among leaders whose crooked influence infects an entire nation! Note the leadership abuses in Amos’s day:
- They abandon morality (v. 7).
- They confused values (v. 10).
- They taxed the poor for selfish gain (v. 11).
- They were corrupt and oppressed citizens (v. 12).
- They took bribes (v. 12).
- They deprived people of justice in court (v. 12)
The scary part of this sad story is that these leaders could not see their own corruption. Amos 5:18 warns against longing for the day of the Lord, for it will be a dreadful day of judgment, not a joyful celebration.
King Leads Nineveh – Jonah 3:6-9
When the news of Jonah’s message of judgment reached the king of Nineveh, he immediately repented. He took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat down in the dust. He repented for his own sin. Then he used his influence to bring about citywide revival. He issued a decree that every citizen follow his lead. And God saw his response, He had compassion on the Ninevites and did not destroy them.
In this case, the leader influenced the fate of an entire population. He did so by providing the three fundamentals every follower needs:
- A clear model: He repented first, setting an example (v. 6).
- A clear message: He called his people to a specific action (vv. 7, 8).
- A clear motivation: He gave the people a reason for taking action (v. 9).
Woe to Abusive Leaders – Micah 3:1-12
God pronounces a dark future for leaders who practice injustice and abuse their power to take advantage of others. God rebukes poor leaders and false prophets for their sins that impacted the entire land. God notes that these leaders had power and influence, but that they used it for their own purposes. Study the chapters to see what God hated so much about these abusive leaders:
- They destroy people instead of developing them (vv. 1-3).
- They misled people into confusion, instead of leading them in a cause (vv. 5-7).
- They distorted justice instead of upholding justice for the common man (vv. 9, 10).
- They took bribes for themselves instead of taking responsibility for the people (vv. 11, 12).
Ripple Effect – Luke 19:1-27
During his time with Jesus, Zaccheaus pledged to give half of his possessions to the poor and to repay those he had defrauded four times what he had taken. Immediately afterwards, Jesus declared that good stewards will be rewarded. God rewards good stewardship, multiplying the influence of godly leaders.
Council Impacts Gentiles – Acts 15:22-29
Through one document the Jerusalem church liberated Christians everywhere of terrible burdens and potential guilt laid on them by Jewish law. They exercised their influence and changed the course of church history. Power isn’t always evil. The Jerusalem Council exercised positive influence on its generation; so can we.
Emotional Authority – Galatians 1:6-10
Paul challenges the direction of the Galatian church, accusing it of embracing a different gospel. The apostle risks his leadership by exercising his emotional authority. This is the acid test of the Law of Influence. A leader discovers his or her level of influence when he or she must confront an erring group’s direction.
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