By Joe Pettigrew

Hackers broke into the servers of a major pharmaceutical company and leaked large amounts of confidential information. They stole trade secrets, employee records, executive salaries and bonus data, and troves of “inappropriate” emails sent as confidential.

Mortified executives quickly apologized for their racist and sexist riffs and disparaging remarks about customers and fellow employees, but the damage had been done. One high ranking executive, having learned she was called a “minimally talented, spoiled brat,” made a call to her attorney. The leaked emails left the company vulnerable to blackmail, and the shareholders were furious. The hackers promised to release more gossipy texts unless the company stopped producing a controversial new drug.

What would happen to your friendships and working relationships if some of your emails and texts were made public? We’re continually communicating across a variety of platforms, and the more we type, the greater the opportunity for problems. Proverbs 10:19 warns us that “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”

When using social media, it’s important to remember that the virtual world is still real. Living people with real feelings will read what you have written, perhaps even the person you’re writing about. It takes only one click to forward or copy someone else on an email, so we should be cautious with what we write and say.

Think and Pray

Watch what you say today. Listen to the conversations of others to see how damaging the tongue can be.

Lord, help me to be careful with what I say, write and post today. Let my words build others up according to their need, that it would benefit those who listen. Amen

Joe Pettigrew is a respected authority on the issues affecting Christian businessmen and executives. He is an executive coach, professional speaker, and founder of Leaderpoint, an international leadership-coaching firm. He also serves as the President of In The Zone Ministries, and is the co-author of Living Life in the Zone: A 40-Day Spiritual Gameplan for Men.