Ephesians 4:29

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. (New American Standard Bible)

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (New King James Version)

(Emphasis added)

The content of this verse is principally directed at the one who will be speaking words. The context of the chapter is relationships. As I read this verse I wonder how much liberty we are given as hearers of the words being spoken. Here are my questions.

  1. May I make known to others the need of the moment and seek out words of encouragement that grace might be imparted to me?
  2. May I express to others that edification is necessary and would be greatly appreciated?
  3. Then the logical question to follow would be: to whom might such requests be made?

When I am feeling like some edification is needed in my own life my brain thinks these thoughts: Give out encouragement, what you sow you will reap. David encouraged himself in the Lord, I can too. Just get over it. Quit whining. You are going to be fine. Yet, I would never think of saying such things to someone I see who is down, or I perceive is having a hard time.

Lately I have been feeling that I am too hard on myself. This relates to many areas in my life. At this moment I am considering the likelihood of positive effects resulting from being more forthcoming with others about when I feel like I need edification.

If you want answer any of the above questions feel free to do so.



25 thoughts on “Needy?

  1. i’m way harder on myself than i would ever dream of being on someone else. i’m trying to learn to have more realistic expectations for me.

    i find that when i’m willing to be open, authentic, and vulnerable with those i trust and am close to, they are able to meet me right there in the need of the moment. if i’m being honest when i’m feeling down, or anxious, or struggling, they know how to respond best… when i keep up my facade that “all is well” and refuse to let them into my heart, i feel disappointed in their responses… as if i expect them to just know by osmosis.

    authenticity in relationships (which really boils down to integrity in relationships) is so key for me these days. and i’m grateful for those God has graced my life with for this season…

    1. Yes, I agree, it is an issue of intergrity. I almost took the route of talking in this blog about how I am lying to myself by my self talk of everything is going to be alright. But I felt that was a bit too negative and harsh. Really, authenticity is what I crave.

  2. it’s a hard thing for me to ASK for encouragement…i’m not sure i’ve ever done that, outside of daniel maybe. i’ve always acted like “encouraging myself” in the Lord means i’m stronger…perhaps just more prideful at certain times. i dont know.

    good questions. great verses.

    1. That is just where I am at right now. I am taking a real hard look at the ‘martyr mentality’ that I often carry. I do think that there is some very real pride in me to think that I have it all together when in fact I do not.

  3. @ngie, it’s such a good point you make here about speaking with encouragement and grace to others, and also, to ourselves. It’s an odd thing how we can feel to really try and support and lift our friends by encouraging them when they are down, but then be quite hard and impatient with ourselves.
    About asking your friends for some encouragement when you feel you need it? Definitely! You give so much to others in your family and ministry and through blogs, I’m sure lots of us would jump at the chance to tell you how loved you are!
    Birgit xo

  4. I liked this, Angie. I struggle with asking for what I need, too.

    I’ll rationalize to myself that I’m avoiding adding to someone else’s load, or that God is calling me to rely on him alone.

    But the truth is, asking for help can lead to rejection. They might say no. And THEN what would I do? I blogged about this in a roundabout way today too. More along the lines of asking for company or companionship. But I think it’s kinda the same idea

    I definitely think it’s good to tell people where you really are, and what you really need. The longer I live, the more I start to realize that I walk around holding up a ‘together’ mask so I can fit in with everyone else. But in reality, it seems that EVERYONE looks more together than they feel. We all feel uncertain.

    This has helped me on the journey to authenticity. It’s cool that you’re on the same road. ;)

    1. Yes! That is exactly my same rational: I am being burdensome to someone else. But then if we think it through then it might be that a relationship built on facades and ‘fake it til you make it’ behaviors is actually more of a burden.

      Hm, that is interesting that you have been working on this in your own life, too. It is nice to know I have a companion.

  5. good thoughts angie! one thing i thought about too is that a lot of times I think we try really hard to encourage people in our ministries but often forget about our husbands and children. sometimes it seems easier to listen to the problems of other people and try to encourage them than it is to listen to our 5 year old when they need some encouragement or our husbands.
    I also don’t ask people for encouragement sometimes because I’m afraid of what they will think of me. will they think bad of me? So, because of what you blogged about today i’m going to tell myself that i’m skinny all day! lol!!!! just kidding!

  6. Lots of great comments already posted. so I wont try to repeat all the wisdom already being shared. But it is a touchy and sensitive subject. I feel vulnerable even thinking about it. But one thought i had was… if we can be honest with ourselves about our needs and if we can find the words to pour out that request to our Father, then it is entirely reasonable to think that He would be willing and very able to fulfil that need through whom ever he chooses. All we would have to do is ask and then watch for him to move through our two year old, a friend, a respected mentor, or even a stranger on the street.
    That being said I do think that we should be able to go to our personal prayer partners, mentors, or husband with the need. Confession is good for the sould, even if it is confessing a need.
    “Lord give us wisdom as we choose who to confide in and thank you for leading us through self discovery so that we can grow to please you more. Amen”

  7. I love the balance you’ve presented, Angie. Sometimes we get so unreasonably skewed in our perception of ourselves versus other people. Like me with makeup. I realized in high school that I was dependent on makeup. If anyone outside of my immediate family ever saw me without makeup on, I was mortified. And I wouldn’t even dream of going grocery shopping without putting some makeup on first. However, I distinctly remember once, doing my makeup with my cousin. She had just put mascara on one eye, and the other without, and turned to me and said, “See! Look at the difference if I don’t wear mascara! It’s like I have no eye!” I looked at her and thought … that’s strange. I barely notice the difference. That experience (and others) opened my eyes to how more MORE sensitive I was about myself than everyone else. I would notice in an instant if my eyeshadow was a tad darker or a slightly different color. Most people … couldn’t tell, wouldn’t notice, and … it really didn’t make much of a difference to them. I was just “Annie.” So … little by little I’ve tried to release that vice-grip of vanity on my mind. I still … don’t like being seen without makeup (my skin is quite blotchy and reddish) but I can handle it. It doesn’t wreck my day if I don’t have everything just so.

    All that to say – it is very healthy to take a balanced perspective and see through other lenses than the one you just accept as ‘normal.’ Some things … may not be so normal.

    And by the way, you can let me know any time you are needing encouragement. Sometimes I’m not so good at reading people, but I definitely don’t mind being asked. My best friend and her sister had a thing they would do growing up – they would use the phrase “be ready in season and out of season!” They could spring it on each other at any given moment, and when it was sprung the person had to start speaking all the truth, Word, and promises of God that they could think of. Quite the mental, emotional, and spiritual exercise. So … I aim to be ready like that. I want to be ready like that. So … I really, really, really, really mean it. If you ever need an encouraging word … you don’t even have to tell my why you need it. Just let me know … and I’ll do my best to let it out.

    We are still members of the same body. :)

    1. Anita la animadora – I like the idea of a code word / phrase. Yes, we are members of the same body. Just as a hand instinctively rubs a funny bone that gets bumped we need to help each other out. A word of encouragement is always welcome. Thanks for being willing to be an encourager to me. I really, really, really, really appreciate it.

      1. Well, ok!

        Angie, the Lord has given you insights into heavenly secrets – He has given you eyes that can see beyond most people’s sight, and this is something unique to you. You are made in His image and likeness, and with the indelible imprint of Himself all over you. He fashioned you from the inside out, and your design is to impact the kingdom of God. You are a mover and shaker; not called to be on the sidelines, but called to speak right to the heart of the matter. Your sight, your hands. I see you moving in the calling in those ways. Where your eyes see, your hands reach. And your smile is always there to display the image and likeness of God in living form. Your children are called after you; in the knowledge and power of the Lord. They are like arrows in your hand, and they will impact as you have done, but with greater measure. This is multiplication. You’re showing them how, and they will run with it. The presence of the Lord surrounds you wherever you go; the army of the Lord stands ready around you. You are never alone, but a host surrounds you wherever you go. They are ministers of light and a fighting force to protect and preserve all that concerns you. They consider it an honor to do this, for you are highly esteemed in heavenly places. The Lord is your banner. The Lord is your rear guard. He goes before and behind you to fight for you against all your enemies. He is your shelter; He is your shade. He is your glory, and the voice offering encouragement and action at your ear. He will be with you and sustain you in troubled times. All of the paths your feet are to walk, He has ordained, and walked in already. He has trampled the grasses to show you a path, and the land is yours before you lay claim to it. Above all else, He is mighty. He is mighty FOR you, and IN you, and WITH you, and He will be your resting place. Like a soft cozy armchair, He will enfold you at the end of a long day. He will whisper words of peace as you rest, and stroke your brow as you fall asleep. He has loved you with an everlasting love, and will never tire of displaying that love for you. Your sleep will be sweet, for He will guard and protect you in slumber. Your night will be turned into day, and your weariness into joyful shouting. All of your paths are peace, and He will preserve and sustain you.

        As you rest tonight … feel the sweet breeze of His presence wash over you. He is with you. Be not afraid.

        1. WOW, Annie, this was awesome!

          I will definitely be coming back to read this. Thank you for taking the time to send along words of encouragement. You are a dear.

  8. I’m nearly the opposite at times. I process externally – so I often share my stories to people to weigh advice/reactions. It’s something I need to work on… at some point, telling my woes to others isn’t necessary. Finding that stopping point is pretty key. And hard to do! Haibo.

  9. Hey there friend. I love you and the things you write. I especially love this post and the good responses you´ve gotten from it. I agree that many times (at least in my own life) it is pride that keeps us from sharing our real struggles and down times. We don´t want to burden others, of course, but really we don´t want to admit…even to ourselves…that we are so feeble, flawed, and so easily brought down. In short, we don´t want to admit to being human. It´s funny because one thing that people have always commented on about Joe and me is that we are transparent…what you see is what you get. It is who we are. We are not pretenders. I think that is indeed true and yet there is so much more to me that I don´t ´publically´ share. I need good friends, confidants, that will encourage me and build me up that I can reveal even more of myself to. These people need to be ones that also point out the splinter in my eye (or the beam…as the case might be). I think this is how God treats us as well. The more we want to get to know him the more He reveals Himself to us. The more we share with him and see his faithfulness and love in our lives the more confidence we have in him. The more confidence we have in Him the more we allow Him to correct us and we allow Him to encourage us when we need it. We go to Him for it. For me, the people that I ´let inside´ include my hubby, my older kiddos, you and others that I know and trust that have proven their unconditional love and commitment to me. Those I see that let God work in their lives and that are not afraid to ask for help either. Those I can open up even more of myself to. Those who can see the ugly, vulnerable parts and still love me. It is a challenge to find those kind of people, but when you do what treasures they are! I am treasuring and loving you at this moment.

    1. My dear Denise, you are a confidant for me too. Thank you. Your thoughts on intimacy with the Father here challenge me. I want to trust Him more…

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