All of us, I am sure, will be able to name those people who have spoken positively into our lives - and even those who have spoken negatively into our lives!! How people speak into our lives often has an impact upon how we react to others! Either we go completely the other way or we totally embrace the words that have been spoken over us, and we continue to speak in the same mannerisms!!
We often hear people speaking about young people, and let's be honest, a lot of it is negative. But I wonder if some of the reaction from young people is due to the negative approaches demonstrated or shown to them in the first place?
Countering negative comments can be draining, tiring, stressful, and often leave people feeling thoroughly beaten up emotionally.
Somewhere, somehow, there needs to be - has to be - a culture change so the negativity is reduced and the positive is emphasised.
James, in his book in the Bible, refers to the tongue as a weapon, and he also suggests that at times it needs taming!!!
I wonder - when our tongue moves, when noises come from our tongues - is it a negative or positive noise that comes forth?
Do we build up, or do we knock down?
Do people feel believed in by us, or do they feel torn apart by us?
Jesus says in John 10.10 that he comes to bring life in all its fullness, but the devil comes to steal and destroy. Can we possibly change the culture and learn to live out of that fullness, enabling others to live out of that fullness, rather than allowing the stealing and destroying to take place?
As a leader, I know who are the life-giving talkers in my life, and who are the people who take away from that, so I know more and more whom to pay attention to. And I would want the same for any young person whom I work with - to know who to listen to - who are the encouragers and who are the ones who destroy!
Not only do I want to live a life of fullness, I am believing the same for young people all around me.