Read Ephesians 4:29
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful,so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (NLT)
An old confession says “we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,and done those things which we ought not to have done”. There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission. This applies to words.
This passage rightly reminds us that we ought to avoid unhelpful words. Only say those things which are right and true and helpful. Abusive words,once said,can’t be unsaid. They do great damage.
And yet there is this other side to the matter of speech. We can be guilty of not saying what ought to be said. Which is unhelpful in itself. We don’t thank the church musicians for turning up each Sunday (even if we don’t always like the songs!). We don’t encourage our children when they do something well. We don’t tell someone we love them. We don’t praise and thank God even as we seek to avoid sinning against him. It is not as if we are guilty of saying the wrong thing: we are guilty of saying nothing at all.
Why leave thanks and affirmation till the eulogy of a funeral service? Why not speak encouraging words when people are alive to be helped by them? Sometimes biting your tongue and refraining from speech is a good thing. Many other times it is a failure to love. In our proper concern about saying the wrong things,don’t forget to say the right things.