I can still remember my youth pastor trusting me to lead an entire youth service in his absence… over 20 years ago.
I can remember the times when a former professor championed me in a moment that felt like failure in ministry… more than 20 years ago.
I could list numerous instances from decades ago of times when people affirmed me. Why? Because, as Dick Foth writes, “Affirmation has a long shelf life.” People don’t forget when we affirm them.
Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue (or rather the words it speaks) has the power of life and death. We get to choose.
Choose to affirm. Decades from now, those you affirm today will still remember & find life in that.