- To have a direct, significant or major effect upon
- A striking of one body against another
Ultimately, we will all be judged by the amount of impact we deliver on this earth for the kingdom. The obvious and critical question then becomes, how do I maximize my impact?
One way is to study the heroes of the Bible who indeed had massive impact. Besides Jesus, Paul arguably had the greatest impact of any recorded New Testament believer. Without question, Paul had a major impact wherever he went yet was often met with resistance in both natural and supernatural forms. As Keith Moore of Faith Life Church likes to teach, "Wherever Paul went, you either had a revival or a riot."
So let's take a deep dive into how Paul moved out of the worldly impact into supernatural impact and how you can too.
Case Study: Paul
"My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:4-5).
Persuasive Words of Human Wisdom
Paul was the Pharisee of all Pharisees: taught, educated, trained up in man's wisdom. The pervasive secular teachings of the day were based upon the prevailing Greek culture and the influence of their scholars, including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Of these three, two works by Aristotle must be examined to fully comprehend what Paul was saying.
(Now hang with me; this will take a little explanation, but it is critical that you understand what we must overcome, just like Paul.)
Aristotle was born in 384 BC, almost 400 years before Christ. He is universally recognized as the father of Western philosophy and is even honored as the ""first Teacher" of the Muslim faith.
Remember, from the time of Aristotle until Jesus, there was no revelation from God—400 years of no prophets or prophetical revelation. A spiritual vacuum prevailed while the Greek way of thinking invaded all aspects of education, politics, entertainment and life.
Of the many works Aristotle penned, two are essential to understand. The first one is entitled "The Poetic," which taught playwrights how to write a play, the overwhelming entertainment and education forum in that day for the masses. Aristotle saw the play as a series of small speeches, so he then penned "The Rhetoric" to teach playwrights and actors how to give a speech.
"The Rhetoric" continues to this day to be the treatise on Western thinking and thought. Here's why. In "The Rhetoric", Aristotle taught that there were three primary components of any discourse/communication: ethos, pathos and logos.
1) Ethos means source credibility, which asks, "is that person worthy of belief?" Aristotle lamented that although the only necessary form of reasoning in a civilized society is ethos, man's nature is inherently weak, and therefore it is necessary to include two additional components of discourse: pathos and logos.
2) Pathos means the use of emotion. How many times even today are we bombarded with emotional appeals for everything from our time to our money, even from worthy Christian ministries?
3) Logos means the use of logic. According to Aristotle, logos includes three different types of reasoning: inductive, deductive and analogous reasoning.
- Inductive reasoning starts with the specific and goes to the general. ("Jim is an idiot. Jim is from Kentucky. Therefore, all Kentuckians are idiots."
- Deductive reasoning starts with the general and goes to the specific. (All Kentuckians are idiots. Jim is from Kentucky. Therefore, Jim is an idiot.)
- Analogous reasoning assumes that if two things are alike in one way, they will also be alike in other ways. (Kentucky is full of hillbillies. Tennessee borders Kentucky. Therefore, Tennessee is full of hillbillies.)
In this case, all three statements are false ... at least I hope you think they are.
Aristotle taught that the ultimate power of logos (man's natural ability to reason) is based upon the very first statement of the reasoning chain, what he called the axiom ("Kentucky is full of hillbillies" for example.) He taught that there are two crucial questions you must about every axiom: Is the axiom true, and is it valid?
The search for truth was so pervasive that even Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" (John 18:38).
Back to Paul. No doubt Paul was extensively schooled in and used all the above forms of reasoning in all he did—before his conversion. But after his conversion, he no longer spoke with his ability to reason even though he was one of the best debaters and thinkers of his time.
Demonstration of Spirit and Power
Within the same verse, Paul dramatically exclaims how he radically changed his impact approach from a logic-based, Western-style thinker into a "demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Cor. 2:4b). He transformed from a man-based reasoner into a Holy Spirit-filled, miraculous power releaser!
Unfortunately, millions of Christians (just like the vast majority of unbelievers) continue to severely over emphasize their natural ability for left-brain, bottom-line, sequential problem-solving while severely under emphasizing their supernatural ability to release Spirit-led kingdom power!
Is it any wonder the church at large continues to have minimal real impact on transforming the world?
We have all been taught from kindergarten to think—think—think. There's nothing wrong with that in and of itself. God gave us all brains to use. But to move into supernatural impact, we must leave the logic of Aristotle and step into the power of God.
So, what do you do? Rather than suggest a pedantic three- or five-step model, here are a few reflective questions for you to take to the Lord and press in for His revelations and wisdom on how you are to move into more supernatural impact.
- Upon what are you basing your impact at work, your natural ability to think, analyze and perform or on your supernatural ability to unleash kingdom power at work?
- On a scale of 1-100, what percent of your current level of impact is in your natural vs. your supernatural?
- Is it time for you to adjust your "impact dial" toward more supernatural impact, and if so, how much?
- Where is the first place you can step into supernatural impact, and what does it look like for you?
Dr. Jim Harris is an executive coach, advisor and author of 14 award-winning business books. Download his FREE 31 Power Prayers to Prosper Your Business. Connect with Dr. Jim on Facebook LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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