Do you have someone who is a positive influence in your life? Someone who is your cheerleader, coach, or relentless supporter? We all need to have at least on person we can count on to say just what we need to hear at the right time. I had a coach who made a very positive impact on my life. He was a master at motivation because he took the time to genuinely get to know me and what mattered. He knew what made me tick, and what made me ticked off! He was hard on me when he needed to be, but he always found a way to focus on the positive, which led to my willingness to run through a wall for him. Sometimes he would just listen, and other times he would offer advice. His words were always empowering. Regardless of my ability to put points on the scoreboard or rebounds in the stat sheet, I knew he truly cared about me and wanted what was best. We went on to have an extremely successful 4 years of basketball together, culminating in a state championship my senior year. To this day, he is still there for me if I need him. He has transitioned into a successful business man, and raised a beautiful family with 3 amazing children who will continue his legacy of spreading positive energy and empowering others.
Empowerment. That is the ultimate benefit of our words…
Words can lift others to heights they never dreamed they could reach on their own. Unfortunately, words can also do irreparable harm. As wonderful as my high school coach was at empowering others, I also played for a different coach who was quite the opposite. Her words cut like a razor sharp machete. Every negative word & angry attack left me & my teammates feeling like we were somehow defective and not worthy. Needless to say, the longer we endured this type of treatment, the more unmotivated and defeated we all became. I could go on and on about the pain her words inflicted. It took me years to overcome the negativity that seeped through my veins. It was like a virus waiting to rear it’s ugly head when I was facing a challenge or big decision. Words like, “you’re not good enough”, “you don’t deserve it”, or my personal favorite, “you’re just a loser” came ringing back through my head like she were standing in front of me berating once again. I think she was trying to do the best she could with what she knew at the time (it has taken me years to be able to believe that), but those words cut me to the core, and it took a very long time to mend those wounds.
We all have a responsibility to empower one another. The bible says, in Ephesians 4:29 “When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you.”
Every encounter we have provides us the opportunity to help someone grow stronger, or make them weaker. How can you empower those around you, and be the blessing they may need?