We are all affected by words spoken to us. How we react depends greatly on who is doing the speaking. If it is a complete stranger it will probably not have as great of an impact. On the other hand, if we are close to the person their words will carry more weight. If this is an individual that we respect, we will listen more carefully even if what they share is very difficult to hear.
This should be an active part of our path to maturity as we seek out wise counsel and invite others to be part of our life's journey. We need to develop trusting relationships with people and then give them the freedom to speak into our lives. This is not always an easy process and it certainly doesn't happen quickly. Instead, we build this level of helpful communication through shared lives and the willingness to work through easy and difficult trials. In a mutual relationship this is one of the most beneficial pieces of personal growth.
To whom do you give freedom to speak into your life? How have they earned that right over time?