I like tools. It does not really matter what kind because tools are cool. I don’t always like doing the work, but I feel manly by simply owning lots of tools. Among the many that I own is an assortment of hammers. As I am not a carpenter, I’m not really sure why I have so many, but I do.
When my son, Brandon, was four he went through a stage of driving nails into everything he could find. He drove nails into the dirt. He nailed them into his bedroom walls. He would try to nail objects into the floor. He would hammer on every conceivable thing you could think of. We tried everything to keep him from hammering nails into valuable things like furniture and his sister. We set up boundaries and even had designated areas where he could legitimately nail stuff. I remember coming home from work one day to find nails in our living room coffee table.
One day Brandon discovered that I had a rubber hammer. If you have any experience with tools, you know that a rubber hammer has a very specific purpose. It is used to tap things that a regular hammer would damage. It definitely was not made to hammer nails. Before long I found Brandon nailing nails to his little heart’s content with my rubber hammer. After I took it from him I could see the scars. It had been abused because it was not used for the right purpose.
God has given you the ability to help or harm others with your words. They are like tools. You can build up or tear down. You can lead well or you can abuse others with the things you say. Leaders, your words matter. They can serve God’s purpose or they can leave scars.
The Apostle Paul writes, “When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need — words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you” Ephesians 4:29
Guard your words today. God has a purpose in mind for the things you say. Make sure that you try to build up those around you. Be kind. Be generous with your praise and sparing with your criticism. What you say matters. Your words are like tools. Make sure they serve the right purpose.
Think of a time when someone’s words empowered you. Now think of a time when someone’s words hurt you and caused you to doubt. What kind of words do you want to be known for speaking? Think about it and then share it with someone today.