According to the Need of the Moment

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29

Whenever I’ve read this verse I’ve taken away the thought that what we speak should build up the other person. That whatever words we speak should edify the person they are spoken to.

As I’ve focused on memorizing this verse the past couple of weeks though, the phrase “according to the need of the moment” keeps highlighting itself.

Not every moment requires words to be spoken.

How many times have we walked away from a conversation and thought to ourselves, “Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut.”  I did just a couple of weeks ago.

In a recent Deeper Story post, Robin Dance writes “to steward carefully what God prompts me to share with others, and to pray earnestly for wisdom to see what might otherwise be missed.” I love how she puts this.

Steward carefully.

We are encouraged to steward our money, our possessions, everything God has given us carefully.

Yet why have I never thought of stewarding our words in the same manner? And shouldn’t we steward our words more carefully than anything else?

Stewarding our words carefully means realizing whether or not there is a need for them at the moment. Yes, our words should always be good for building up the other person, even if those words are difficult for them to hear, but if they are said without giving grace then they have done nothing but tear down. But we must also realize that they may not be needed at the moment.

Have you ever spoken to someone only trying to help. Yet those words did not help in any way and only proved to frustrate the person more? I know I have.

Stewarding our words carefully not only means our words should be good for edifying it also means knowing when “according to the need of the moment” those words should or should not be shared.

Have you ever thought about our words in terms of stewarding them?


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