Words come in all different sizes. Some small, some big, some with hyphens, and some that are just impossible to pronounce the first time. All in all, each one of these have a meaning and give a different impression for both the giver and receiver. Words are powerful. I mean, take a gander at the seven days of creation when God spoke things into existence.
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1:3
It was direct, and there was an immediate reaction. Now... I’m not saying that the next time you or I have a craving for ice cream, all we have to do is speak it and then a carton of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream is going to appear nicely in our hands with the perfect size spoon. That’s not the idea, but rather the things we say have an impact, whether we recognize it or not.
Middle school years are the years a student is being molded into who he or she will be for the years to come. According to their brain development, this is the stage of their lives where peers influence them the most. Not only do they have an influence, but what their friends, family, peers, and leaders say to them they remember the most. Why is that? Because during this period, their brain is like a sponge that is introduced to water for the first time. It soaks it up!
Since this is the case, the words that are used around, to, from, towards these students either have one of two effects. They build up or tear down. In the book of Ephesians, Paul speaks to this when he addresses the church of Ephesus.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
Paul challenges us to mark our words. We have a choice to use these in a kind and loving way or a destructive one. He also tells us that if we use them for building up that the receivers of our words will benefit from them. For some, this benefit may be knowing someone actually cares for them; providing a feeling of hope, or a word that would change the trajectory for someone forever.
In Axis56, students are continually listening and watching for the people who are set apart - not of the world, but in the world doing what God has them do; people who genuinely care and love them through their struggles, mess-ups. They are looking for people to be there for them in the hard times as
well as celebrate the wins. One kind word is all it takes! You up for it?