7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. 10 This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down. 2 Corinthians 13:7-10
What are you doing with your words? Are you building people up or tearing them down? I know I find myself going negative when others start to go negative. Just today a co-worker didn’t follow proper protocol. In fact, she never follows the proper protocol for certain actions she takes. Since there is no “push back” from those in authority, she makes those decisions unchallenged. I went negative on her and those in authority over her who have the power to stop her in her tracks. It affected my mood for the rest of the afternoon to the point where I blew up at my wife over something trivial. In just two hours the situation went from negative to hazardous. I retraced my thinking process and realized it was because I was frustrated at this co-worker and those in authority over her.
So, what could I have done differently about this situation? Well, if I realize that this is a regular problem, I probably should harden myself to the fact that I won’t be able to change her or management. I can suggest changes, but if the changes don’t occur, I shouldn’t let it concern me.
The other thing I could have done was not to say anything critical at all. It’s not helpful or useful to get uptight over events you can’t change.
The third thing I could have done was to not mirror my other co-worker. When she first told me the news, she was furious. I just followed her down that path.
Now, these actions are much easier said than done the moment it is happening. We do have the power to heal without our tongue and uplift. We should certainly use it for that purpose.