No one would deny the power of words, but like all powerful tools, words can be used for good or evil. And sometimes, our failure to use our words carefully can hurt others and our relationships with them.
We've all had experiences with people who purposely use words as weapons, but we've also known those whose simple lack of ability to think before they speak unwittingly leads them to embarrass themselves or offend others.
I was reminded of this quality recently by the story of a friend of mine. A friend of a friend had recently become a non-friend because of her tendency to have whatever thoughts entered her mind immediately spill out of her mouth. I was sad to hear it, but not terribly surprised. When I first met the woman she had reminded me of an old, no-longer-friend of my own who was too quick to share her opinions and criticism. This old friend taught me some painful, but very valuable lessons. Thanks to my experiences with her, I had seen the writing on the wall early on with this new friend of a friend and had chosen to steer clear. Whew!
While we all make mistakes from time to time and occasionally say or do the wrong thing, some of us, like the woman in the example above, consistently make the tactical error of not thinking before we speak.