Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)
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.
Matthew Henry�s Commentary on verse 29 states, �Filthy and unclean words and discourse are poisonous and infectious, as putrid rotten meat: they proceed from and prove a great deal of corruption in the heart of the speaker, and tend to corrupt the minds and manners of others who hear them; and therefore Christians should beware of all such discourse. It may be taken in general for all that which provokes the lusts and passions of others. We must not only put off corrupt communications, but put on that which is good to the use of edifying. The great use of speech is to edify those with whom we converse. Christians should endeavour to promote a useful conversation: that it may minister grace unto the hearers; that it may be good for, and acceptable to, the hearers, in the way of information, counsel, pertinent reproof, or the like.�
Words can either encourage or discourage someone. Once I was on a trip out of town and hailed down a cab. The driver seemed to be in not quite such a good mood. We had a ways to go so he started talking to me about some of his problems. I would calmly reply in an encouraging way hoping to lift his spirits. After a while he asked, �Why are you in a good mood this morning?� At first I was a little surprised by the question, but I told him I had gotten up and read The Bible for a while that morning and had found some encouraging words of wisdom. Then he said, �That�s my problem, I don�t know about me and The Lord. I always try to do what is right, but I seem to fail.� Then I shared some of the wisdom I had learned from my reading. I shared how we all fail at times, but if we place our faith in The Lord, and ask His forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin. As we pulled up to my location the driver stopped, turned around and said, �I want that faith in The Lord you talked about. Would you pray with me?� So I prayed with Mr. Brown and encouraged him to place his faith in The Lord knowing The Lord would always forgive him and encourage him.
I thought I would never see Mr. Brown again, but a year later I was in the same city and hailed down a cab. When I got in the cab I read the taxi license that was posted and the driver was the same Mr. Brown I had spoken to before. This time his attitude was different. After we were on our way I said, �Mr. Brown do you remember me?� He looked back in his rearview mirror and said, �I sure do. You are that man that prayed with me about The Lord.� I asked, �How are you doing this morning?� His response was, �The Lord has given me a joyous heart!�
Sometimes all it takes is for us to listen to the problems of another, have compassion for them, and give them words of encouragement and it will lift their hopes and spirit. Our words can build them up if we use them properly. We must remember too that our words can tear down and destroy if used the wrong way. Pray The Lord will bless you with good things to say that are helpful and encouraging.