We continue to explore the value and power of words. When you use the right kind of language in organizations, your team’s morale and value stays high! When I went on humanitarian and missionary trips in high school and college, there were always important rules around words. Many Americans and others take comforts for granted, such as air conditioning, an abundance of food, cars, and technology. It’s easy for a westernized American to be disgruntled in a non-developed country when they don’t have access to their everyday conveniences. This is why the rules we had in place for our teams proved valuable!
One of the rules was “Not to state the obvious.” If it’s hot outside, don’t say, “It’s hot outside.” If the food doesn’t taste good, don’t say, “The food doesn’t taste good.” If you say it out loud, everyone can just sense others thinking, “It’s hot outside.” An additional guideline we had on our missionary trips or in a challenging situation is not to tease or criticize anyone, even in a joking manner, which teenage boys are famous for. We had repercussions for it: A person would simply say, “Seven-up.” Seven-up means that if someone said anything negative about you, then they must give you seven compliments!
Friend, believe it or not, these rules helped so much in keeping the morale, the vision, and the culture of the team up! We were able to take the focus off ourselves and serve the hurting people who have it a lot worse than we do. These directions established that our mission was not to go on vacation, but to provide insulin, eyeglasses, to help and encourage children, and most importantly, to preach Jesus’ good news. The right kind of language will focus ourselves and others on the goodness of God.