As we develop our interpersonal skills we should seriously consider the impact our words may have on others. We can destroy, encourage, or stagnate by the way we speak with others.
Simply stated: Our words matter.
Scripture compares our tongue to a small rudder that steers even the largest of ships. Our tongues generate the full range of emotion–from tearing down to building up, from encouraging to discouraging. Words properly packaged can bring a desire for wisdom. Words carelessly used can drive wise men to ruin. Just as a rudder controls a ships’ direction; your tongue controls the direction of your journey.
A Beacon and A Battleship
A thick fog engulfed the night sea as the captain of a battleship stepped onto the bridge. The captain noticed a beacon straight ahead on a collision course with his battleship. A seaman at the helm radioed, “Ship with beacon straight ahead turn right to avoid the battleship’s path.”
A voice quickly crackled back, “Unable. Suggest you steer right.”
As the battleship drew closer and closer to the beacon, the Captain took the radio and commanded to the ship to steer right immediately. The ship responded, “Unable. Suggest you steer right, immediately.”
Now the captain was mad. He thought to himself, “Who did they think they were, not honoring his battleship’s path to steer clear?” He picked up the radio and bluntly replied, “This is the Captain of a battleship speaking. I demand you to steer right now.”
Just as quickly as the first two times the voice responded, “Roger, this Seaman 1st Class of the lighthouse. Suggest you turn right now.”
The battleship turned.
Our prideful tongue can steer us where we would dare not tread intentionally. Pausing before we speak to consider the landscape helps avoid driving our ship into dangerous rocks. Or in the captain’s case, a lighthouse.