I love email. I know it’s silly, but I truly love receiving emails – especially from women who are a part of my ministry, Christian Work at Home Moms. I love hearing what God is doing in their lives and how He is creating businesses out of the very fabric of who they are and the things that they love to do.
I received an email not long ago, however, that wasn’t nearly so encouraging. The woman was upset. She had been hurt by people during her work-at-home journey, she felt used and abused. She took that anger out on me. I was heartbroken as I read that email and felt this woman’s pain. My heart ached not just for the anger that she expressed, but at seeing the pain behind her words.
Words give us power. They allow us to communicate what God is teaching us. They give us the ability to share the joys and triumphs of life.
And yet, words can be used to wield another sort of power as well – the power to injure. We can so easily hurt others with the words that write and speak. I can think of countless times that I have spoken something without thinking – with no intention of hurting someone – and injured the person on the receiving end.
James 3:3 -6 tells us:
“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. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
What a powerful statement that last line is. Read it again: “It [the tongue] corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” The words we speak can corrupt us if we choose to speak words that belittle others, hurt others or tear others down.
On the flip side, in Proverbs 31:26 we find out how a godly woman uses her words:
“She speaks wise words and teaches others to be kind.”
A woman who fears the Lord chooses her words carefully. She is calm and patient and thinks before she speaks, therefore she speaks “wise words.”
This is of such importance both as mothers and as businesswomen. We have the power to use our words to build up those who work for us, to make things right when a customer is dissatisfied, and to encourage and equip our children to live godly lives. The flip-side is true as well. We have the power to tear our children down, to complain about colleagues or customers, and to speak words that will do much more harm than good.
If I were to ask your family or friends if you are woman who speaks wise words or words that corrupt, how would they answer?
Let’s take some time today to evaluate the things that are coming out of our mouths. Let’s slow down and think before we speak. Let’s choose words that show our children our love for them even in the midst of frustration. Let’s reach out to our co-workers and colleagues and tell them that we appreciate them.