Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! - Proverbs 14:23 NLT
Everybody agrees “talk is cheap.” We wholeheartedly embrace the idea presented by Nike that we should “Just do it!” Action is a respected value in our culture, and few can get on board with a mere “talker.” This is especially true in the workplace.
Do any of the following describe how you use your words at work?
- You’re negative about aspects of your job.
- You constantly complain.
- You let talking get you off task.
- You distract others from productivity by talking.
- You engage in gossip or slander.
- You speak from a place of pride or arrogance.
- You criticize leadership.
Our mouths can play such an integral role in our successes and failures at work. Proverbs 10:19 says, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” The more we talk, the higher the probability that we’ll say the wrong thing!
Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. - Proverbs 13:3
There are times where opening your mouth can literally ruin everything. The Book of James challenges and confronts our constant mindless talking, saying that if we can get our tongue under control, we can basically keep our entire lives in line.
We need to learn how to guard our lips, limiting what we say only to things that are helpful for building people up. If applied, our words can help us win at work.
This doesn’t mean you should push the mute button when you clock into your job. There’s a time to speak up and a time for letting your voice be heard. It simply means, think before you speak. Speak with uplifting intention and purpose. Be mindful of your tone of voice.
When you measure your words at work, making sure to treat others with dignity, respect and kindness, I guarantee that you’ll earn a reputation for being a person of integrity. How we speak to others matters. Whether we’re speaking to an employee, a superior or a colleague, our words make a difference in our workplaces.
Jesus said our words flow directly from what is in our hearts. The state of our hearts determine the purity of our words (Luke 6:45). Toxic talk comes from the overflow of a toxic heart.
As we work this week, let’s be mindful of our speech. Let’s pause before we speak and seek to use our words to build others up, not tear each other down.
1. How would your co-workers describe your words?
2. What can you do this week to build others up at work with your words?