What Bob Goff Taught Me About Influence (and This Election)

What Bob Goff Taught Me About Influence (and This Election)

I had the privilege of hiking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro with Bob Goff and a small team a while back.

When you hike 10-12 hours per day for a week with the same people all sorts of conversation topics come up – Calvinism vs. Arminianism, pre-Adamic race, sports, politics, food and different prolific preachers. The whole team got into lively and hilarious discussions. But when it came to controversial topics Bob was silent. He never said anything negative and never gave his opinion (even when asked) on controversial topics. He just kept smiling and hiking on ahead.

Now, Bob is a brilliant attorney who is changing the world. He’s literally fighting off evil all over the globe with ridiculous acts of love. (Google him and you’ll see he’s fierce when it comes to fighting injustice.) I figure if anyone had a right to air his opinion about something bad in the world it should be him. But he never did.

I took note of that.

Recently, I got to hang out with him for a day. He humbly told me about some doors God has been opening for him – doors that are literally mind-blowing. He has met with people of influence that are on totally opposite sides of political, religious, and ideological spectrums. They all deeply respect him and he gets to speak life to them.

I’m convinced Bob has so much influence for lots of well-deserved reasons, but two particular things I learned from him are a good reminder for us this election season:

1. Bob actually practices real, self-sacrificial love. He’s even willing to sacrifice his right to share his opinion.

2. God can trust Bob to guard his mouth and, as a result, his influence. Bob could use his huge following to really call some people on the carpet. But he doesn’t. He just keeps doing what he feels called to do and lets God sort out who he’s going to allow Bob to influence.

I want to be more like Bob. Mostly because I’m certain that’s how Jesus would roll too.

The election is four weeks away my friends. Like it or not, apart from some apocalyptic event, one of the two major candidates is going to win. We will either have a President Trump or a President Clinton. Some of your friends will have voted for either one of them. I think it would be a horrible shame for us to have wasted our Christian influence on something as silly as a political candidate.

Silly? Yes, silly.

There are way bigger things at stake in this universe than an election in a really young country. I love America, but eternity is at stake. That’s the bigger picture.

You have a circle of influence. There are people who, whether they should or shouldn’t, are watching you. You getting all riled up and mean about a political candidate doesn’t look pretty on you. In fact, it’s downright off-putting.

But love. Love shines. It makes you attractive. It gives you influence.

Let’s all make a vow that for the next month we will guard our influence and our words. Let’s save the big guns and use them only when we are firing off love. Regardless of who wins we need to make sure our light stays shining strong for a bigger reality – eternity.