Saul (Read his story in 1 Samuel 8-31) had a great beginning. He starts with a changed heart (10:9) and the Spirit of God coming upon him mightily (10:10). He starts with great boldness and leadership (11:7). He starts with great support from the majority of the people (11:8). He starts with a great victory (11:10ff). He starts with humility and dependence upon God (11:12-13).
The prophet Samuel (Read his story in 1 Samuel 1-25), on the other hand shows great consistency over his entire life. He puts his life on display before the people. He asks them if he has been a man of integrity with regard to his leadership of the nation (12:3-5). Then he reminds them of how God has dealt with them in the past (12:6-11).
Samuel does not have a credibility gap. He has credibility with his countryman because he walked with God before them.
Samuel’s influence was godly because his life was godly.
That’s what it takes to make a difference in the world–godliness.