We are so accustomed to hearing words like these we can forget easily that they are foolish. This is my favorite:
To be honest with you, honestly.
Now really? Are you telling people that much of the time you do not tell the truth? If you must remind people that this one sentence is truth, does that imply many other sentences are false? Well maybe so.
The Bible says your speech should be “yea” and “no” and leave it at that. Most issues do not lend themselves to easy answers. If you need to explain, find out if they want to listen.
I hear this on TV all the time:
It never gets any better than this.
Really? If it never gets better than this perhaps we should all kill ourselves. Life is hopeless. You see the nonsense in this. If you want to praise something, praise it, but do not confine your opinion or anyone else’s either. Let the vacation television ads say this, but not you. Life will get better; optimists believe this and optimism keeps us going when things are bad.
This saying is common in the south:
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
The First Amendment to our Constitution alone, of all the nations, guarantees Americans the right to say whatever they wish. Does that mean rude, crude people open their mouths, with vile things to say? Yes, but you can turn them off, or omit them from your company.
A guy sitting at WalMart saw me in the parking space waiting for someone to come out and advised me with f-bombs etc. to move my car. I said simply, “Clean up your language.” He had no authority to ask me to move. He proceeded to swear some more and sat down. We do not need to tolerate that, and in fact should speak up.
But when people say we should not speak anything but good, they forget that we have a public responsibility to tell the truth. That means not repeating rumors or information we cannot verify. That is called gossip. Keep in mind that people who do evil do not want it mentioned, in public or private. Your silence about good versus evil only empowers evil to increase.
The culture will continue to deteriorate if we fail to push back against bad language and false ideas. It is our homeland too.