But this quality that students possess isn't automatically good. Sometimes it works for them; other times it works against them.
It works against them when they are exposed to harsh words and harmful actions from classmates, coaches, teachers, or parents. Also, the power of media - websites, television shows, movies, and music - should not be minimized on this point. That exposure can form negative patterns in their minds that inform their perception of themselves and others for years to come. It's very hard to undo the damage that is done to a student who has digested large doses of harsh words and harmful actions.
It works in their favor, however, when we speak words and model actions that are marked by faithfulness, compassion, joy, forgiveness, and love. In other words, when we speak and act in a manner consistent with the claim of Christ on our lives, then our words and actions combine to form a powerful combination that demonstrates the goodness of God to the students in our churches.
Because students are like sponges, let's do what we can to ensure that the words and actions they soak up at our churches are positive and Christ-like. We'll all be better for it.