Words are a powerful thing:
- Words can build up
- Words can tear down
- Words have started wars
- Words have ended marriages
- Words can wound
- Words can heal
And once spoken, words can be forgiven, but it’s hard to forget them.
God says in His word, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV)
And again in James 3, “Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” (James 3:4-5 NIV)
A small rudder steers an enormous ship, so too our words steer our lives.
Think of the enormous impact of our words.
We are all guilty of saying things we wish we wouldn’t have. But if we had more control over the words that spill out of our mouths, we would have control over other areas of our life as well. That’s a promise from God.
“Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” (James 3:2 NLT)
According to a study by Dr. LouAnn Brizendine, the average woman speaks 20,000 words a day. That’s a scary proposition for me sometimes, because I know I don’t always choose my words wisely.
When I was younger, my words got me into a lot of trouble. When I was in 7th grade, I said the wrong thing to a group of tough girls. They waited at my locker everyday before and after school to beat me up. How I wish I could have taken those words back!
I’m better with words than I was in 7th grade, but I still say things I wish I could take back. I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet. Thankfully I am a WIP (Work in Progress), and God’s not finished with me yet!
Of those 20,000 or so words we speak in a day, how many of them help the hearer?
We hear much discussion about the power of words in our relationships with our spouse, children, and friends; but what about the power of your words within the workplace to which you are called?
I have a client who thanks employees everyday as they leave. They even thank me when I have completed a days work for them. A simple…
Two little words with an enormous amount of power!
They make the hearer feel appreciated for the time they just sacrificed to better the company. It makes the hearer feel noticed. Those two words can be so uplifting. This practice of saying thank you, is something that I have been trying to implement in my work day. When I ask for a task to be done, I say “thank you”. When someone comes to me to tell me something, I say “thank you”. When a customer calls to complain, I say “thank you”.
This isn’t easy for me. It takes a conscious effort for me to remember to say it. But I know that over time, that conscious effort will become natural. This practice has begun to spill over into thinking of other ways to use my words in the workplace to build up and encourage. With all of the negativity in the world today, the people you deal with everyday need encouragement. You may be the only person in their life that says anything kind and uplifting to them.
What an impact you can have!
The right words can build a person up, and can diffuse a tense situation.
I had a situation a few years ago with an employee who had nothing nice to say about me, and was continually trying to get the owners to see me in a bad light. Thankfully, the owners noticed the situation for what it was: jealousy. They were ready to fire the employee because nothing they tried had worked. I asked for the opportunity to deal with the situation and meet with the employee. After much prayer in asking God to give me the right words, I met with the employee and was able to rectify the problem using words, and now we have a great working relationship.
Words have power.
Your words can impact a life today.
Choose wisely, and…