“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Speaking down is easy, thoughtless and even feeds that side of us that believes that our freedom to speak comes without limits. That rebellious nature, that instinctively speaks first and processes later. But Speaking Up is a responsibility and usually is spoken from a responsible person.
Speaking Up is building, uplifting, edifying, teaching, educating, boosting, and elevating each other to a higher state of Character. The bible does not just tell us to speak what is good for building up, but it also says “as fits the occasion”.
There are many ways we can Speak Up to others but it does not mean that it helps them or even interests them, in any way that is useful to them in their current lifestyle or mindset. 1 Corinthians 10:23 AMP says, “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” When the scripture says “All things are lawful”, this does not take into account things that are not lawful because we, as people, are held accountable and are expected to operate according to the law, what is generally accepted as right, and what is proper according to our places of residence (whether Christians or not). So the scripture is merely explaining that while we operate in that truth of lawfulness (because we are within what is right/good), we also need to acknowledge that not all those things are beneficial for us nor builds us up as an individual. So if we are in tune with the environment, culture, community, mindset, emotional, social, statistical, economical, spiritual and many different areas that affect each of us differently, then we are able to interpret our words to what best fits the opportunity or the moment, so that our words can be an asset to the hearer and they can prosper from it.
Therefore Speaking Up is a two edged sword. We can build others because we’re being built. We can educate others because we’re being educated. We can uplift others because we’ve been uplifted. But for it to be a help and be beneficial to others, we must do so as it fits the occasion. And that’s how it gives grace to those who hear it; because we are speaking not just from experience, education, and insight, but we are also speaking with understanding, wisdom, and consideration (careful thought, examination or study of how to apply).