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The Power of our Words - Part 1

A few harsh unexpected words spoken by that one music teacher many years ago left me in shock. I didn’t know what to do, so I let it go. But those words didn’t let me go. They echoed within my mind, causing me internal damage and affecting my relationships with authority figures in both my personal and professional life for decades. Until those words were brought into the light, and I forgave the one who spoke them over me.

We do not know how our words will be received by those who hear them, so as Christian women and those in the workplace, we need to be extra cautious of how we wield the words we use. The motivation behind our words matters as much as the way we choose and deliver them.

The Bible reminds us to be careful of how we use our words for three key reasons:

1. Our words come from the attitude of our hearts, not our minds, and as a result can be a curse:

Out of your heart, your mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation. (Matthew 12:37 MSG)
But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. (Matthew 15:18 NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)

2. Our words come from the attitude of our hearts, not our minds, and as a result can be a blessing:

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6 NIV)
Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. (Colossians 3:16 MSG)

3. Our words have eternal implications:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 NIV)
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV)
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. (Matthew 12:36 NIV)
Post a guard at my mouth, GOD, set a watch at the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3 MSG)

I learned the hard way as a teenager that words can be used to crush the spirit or build someone up. I try to think before I speak when I am upset or not feeling well, or delay a reply until I have made the time to respond with care. When in doubt, I wait to speak.

How does our word choice impact our workplaces?

  1. We can either speak blessing or cause damage to others (our coworkers, employees, bosses or clients) with our words and thus impact our places of business in a positive or negative way.

  2. If our staff or clients become upset - work productivity falls, avoidable meetings become required to clear the air, and the difficult staff may need to be reprimanded or let go. The opposite is also true. If our staff or clients feel appreciated, work productivity increases, we need less correction based meetings, and our staff can be promoted or asked to train others.

  3. Word will spread about your place of business courtesy of your clients, vendors, current and former staff. When you speak with kindness, grace, respect and helpful words, they echo in those who hear them. Those who are likeminded will seek your business out based on this word of mouth.

Bringing this to God in Prayer:

God, I want to use my words to not only bless others, but also You. Shine Your light on any area of my heart that needs Your touch to uproot a bad word, and release forgiveness and peace in the space it used to take up within me. Remind me to think before I speak, to make sure my motivation is blessing and my words are spoken with respect, kindness and an attitude to build up, not to tear down. Thank You that the Holy Spirit is able to guide me in this area each and every time I ask for help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Next time, I will share 10 Proverbs which can further guide us to choosing our words wisely. May God be pleased with our words, and may others be blessed and built up by them!

Karla, Christian Women at Work
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