30 Days to Taming Your Tongue - What you say (and don't say) will improve your relationships by Deborah Smith Pegues
Day Thirteen - The Belittling Tongue
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
Do people feel better about themselves after spending time with you? Or are your expectations so high that you focus on their shortcomings rather than their assets? If someone speaks well of a person you envy, do you follow up with a disparaging remark? Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Words are like a hammer; they can be used in the demolition as well as the construction process. They can tear down or they can build. How do you use your words mostly? Is it your normal behavior to build?
During your tongue fast, conquer belittling by acting as if you are a cheerleader and a coach to your family members, employees, coworkers, and others in your sphere of interaction. Cheerleaders tell you that you can do it; coaches tell you how to reach the goal. They all have the same goal: They want you to win!
If you tend to be one of those hard driving, goal-oriented people, coaching may be a challenge initially. Perhaps you are from the school of thought that believes an employee's paycheck is encouragement enough -- especially if he is more than adequately compensated. Beware! Thou art stuck in the stone ages ans in dire need of a mindset change. If you want to maximize productivity, then learn how to build up your employees. A little positive affirmation, some hand-holding, and lots of communication will often yield the productivity and the loyalty that may not accompany the cocky superstar.
Make it a habit to affirm your family members and friends. Tell your wife she is the only woman for you, express your appreciation for your husband's sense of responsibility, applaud your teenagers for avoiding drugs and alcohol, thank a friend for keeping your secrets! Resist the temptation to constantly "fix" something about them. Accept them as they are and remember that you only have them for a season.
No unwholesome talk comes out of my mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.