Developing Positive Leadership In Youth

Developing Positive Leadership In Youth
By: Brian V. Kinsey

What Is Positive Leadership?

Have you ever wondered what makes young people do the things they do? Why are they so interested in gaining the admiration and affirmation of their peers? Much of what motivates them may remain a mystery, but one phrase we hear over and over again is, “All my friends were doing it.”

There is a way, however, to develop in young people a positive sense of self-worth. A healthy view of themselves can give them inner strength to say no to some harmful things. They can develop positive leadership.

Positive leadership is the ability to influence others to do the right things rather than to be influenced to do the wrong things. We can help others make the right decisions in life. Instead of drinking, smoking, and vandalizing other people’s property, we can influence others to become responsible citizens. When young people develop into leaders in their peer groups, they learn to take a stand for something that really matters.

Why is it so important to take a stand? As much as we all hate to admit it, the decisions and choices we make today will affect our future. If we do not learn to make the right decisions, the resulting sorrow and pain can last for the rest of our lives. Here are some steps to develop positive leadership.

Learn to Accept Responsibility for Your Actions: Be a Victor, Not a Victim

Unfortunately, today’s society teaches people to develop a victim mentality. It does so by saying that the reason we are the way we are is because somebody else made us that way. The blame is shifted to parents and to others. Consequently, young people often go through life feeling victimized instead of victorious.

We may not be able to help what others say or do to us, but we do have complete control over our reactions and attitudes toward adversity. Our attitude is everything. We must develop a victor’s attitude that says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). Our problem is not really our problem. Our reaction to our problem is our problem. When we learn to control our attitude, we have learned to win victory over ourselves.

In Jesus Christ young people can learn who they are, and that they don’t have to live their lives victimized by others. They can be victorious through a relationship with Jesus. When we become children of God, we become victorious. I John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” I John 5:4 tells us, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

Learn to Care About Others

The bottom line is this: If you don’t care about people you simply cannot influence them. You must ask yourself this question and give an honest answer to it: Do I care about other people? If you do, you will not desire to hurt them. When someone comes up to you and asks if you want a fix, ask yourself the question, Does this person really care about me, or does he only care about what he is going to get out of it?

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

The knowledge that an activity is harmful is never powerful enough to keep people from indulging. Only when they feel they are loved can they be influenced to change directions.

People don’t care when they feel there is no hope. There is hope in Jesus Christ. There is the hope of eternal life and a victorious life on this earth. You can make a difference in other people’s lives if you learn to care.

Learn to Be a Real Friend

A new slogan has been painted on T-shirts all over America: “No Fear.” Another T-shirt says, “I am a predator. I will intimidate you and I will devour you. Why? Because I can.” What a statement! One thing for sure, people who wear this slogan are not your real friends. You may hang out with them, but they are not friends.

If indeed there is no fear, why are kids packing guns and why do we have metal detectors at school? The only person who can truly claim “No Fear” is a Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit, for 11 Timothy 1:7 says, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

This is the first generation we have asked to say no to premarital sex and no to drugs without first asking them to say yes to the Bible and to Jesus Christ. It doesn’t work. We can’t just say no. We have to learn to say yes to a higher authority and power, that is, God.

II Corinthians 1:20 states, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” When we learn to say yes to Jesus, we unlock the treasure chest of His promises and blessings. They become ours. Everything that is His becomes ours. Now that’s a real friend!