Theological thoughts about the workplace
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
In point 3 of Monday’s post, I talked about language as an indicator of organizational health. I observed that sometimes leaders use personal pronouns to take sole credit for their leadership achievements, or occasionally to pass responsibility on to others when discussing perceived failures. What about the use of profanity? I believe these word choices are likewise a strong indicator of our own spiritual health.
As a follower of Jesus, such words should not come out of my mouth. That said, they occasionally do.
Like lust, greed, and pride, the use of profanity is something I am not proud of. There are countless spiritual reasons this is so, but since these posts are about the workplace, here are just three (there are more) reasons why profanity is unbecoming of a leader:
1. Profanity is an indicator of a lack of self-control.
2. Profanity is an indicator of a weak argument, or weak leader.
3. Profanity is entirely unhelpful “for building others up.”
Jesus said, “what goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, this is what defiles them (Matthew 15:11). “Defile” means to spoil, and that’s exactly what profanity does to one’s leadership.
It takes intentionality, wisdom, and an unhurried spirit, to not use profanity when stress compounds (remember: stress = fear. More to come on this in a few weeks). Left to my own sinful desires, however, and the ugly words emerge.
I have discovered that trying harder to stop this does not work.
As spiritually aloof as this may sound, reconnecting with God through prayer, immersing myself in His word, and practicing solitude, all help me in this pursuit. In fact, over the next three #TheoThursdays I am going to consider how these “spiritual disciplines” impact my leadership, and our business.
But first, let’s put a bow on the topic of profanity.
Whether you are a Christ follower or not, I challenge you to reconsider your words. Do they tear down, or build up? Sticks and stones do break bones, and watch the news, because when a leader uses words callously, they’re not only defiling their own leadership, but abusing others in the process.
Let’s choose them wisely.