The desire, capability and responsibility to live a life of significance is explored in Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-given Influence by Jenni Catron. The passage that anchors the book is Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG):
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
Here we learn that each of us has been:
- uniquely endowed by God
- called by God to use what we have been given
- warned about the distraction of comparison
- given opportunity to use creativity in making the most of our lives
Sadly, although we long for lives of significance and purpose, many times we succumb to one of these ‘clout killers‘:
- Thinking that set-backs in life will reduce our clout when God can actually use them to increase our clout.
- Failing to confront our fears with the truth.
- Interpreting a closed door as a rejection rather than an opportunity to find a better environment in which to thrive.
- Trying to be someone other than yourself.
- Wasting time worrying about what others are doing rather than focusing on what God has called you to do.
- Focusing on what is going wrong in your life rather than on what is going right.
- Being consumed by envy.
- Demanding perfection from yourself and others.
- Blaming others rather than taking responsibility for your own actions.
- Taking responsibility for the outcomes and actions of others.
Alternatively, you can increase your influence by giving yourself to these ‘clout cultivators‘:
- Defining what your unique contribution should be based on who you are.
- Using mistakes to give further definition and clarity to what your contribution should be.
- Allowing yourself to be vulnerably human.
- Realizing that God has a glorious design for your life.
- Seeking continuity between who you are and the work you are doing.
- Playing to your strengths in every area of life.
- Making God smile by doing what you were designed to do.
- Creating the architecture from which you build your influence (this can include planning, lifestyle changes, gaining new knowledge or skills, etc.).
- Allowing yourself to dream about what your best contribution could be.
- Releasing the unrealistic expectations that others have put on you or that you have put on yourself.
Go for it!
Question: How do you relate to the idea of clout? Do any of the above clout cultivators or killers relate to your experience? You can leave a comment by clicking here.