The Christian Public Servant – “the need of the moment”

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October 17, 2017 – Tuesday

Reading

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

Reflection

I was hot when I arrived at the office yesterday morning. My car wouldn’t start, I was late, and I was already behind before I walked in the door. Staring at me on my desk was a project that I had already looked over and knew wasn’t very good, and the people who created it needed my feedback. Here was a great way to let out my anger; I’d tell these people their work was lousy.

Instead, I paused. I read a devotional. I prayed. And then I looked over the project. I didn’t tell them it was perfect, nor did I say it was awful. I praised its strengths and told them how to improve it. I tried my best to match instruction to the need of the moment.

It’s easy to act out in anger. But had I not paused and written my review the way I originally intended, no one would have been the better for it. They wouldn’t have received any instruction for improvement, and I wouldn’t have been honest with my feedback.

Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we don’t get angry. But when we do, and when we are tempted to lash out in anger, we should pause and make sure that what we say does not bring undeserved pain, but instead builds up those around us.

Today at work, make sure your instruction or advice matches the need of the moment. Throughout the workday, give grace to those who hear.

Prayer

Father, I ask for forgiveness. When I want to act out of hurt, may I pause and may my words only serve to glorify You. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen

Michael Bednarczuk
Assistant Professor and Chair
Department of Public Administration
Belhaven University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

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