I also like this rendition as well from the New Living Translation:
Don’t use foul or abusive language.
The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him.
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
So then, let us pursue what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or crude joking, which are out of character, but rather thanksgiving.
But now you must put aside all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage and build one another up, just as you are already doing.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,…. As unsavoury speech, foolish talking, light and frothy language, that which is filthy, unprofitable, noxious, and nauseous, and all that is sinful; such as profane oaths, curses, and imprecations, unchaste words, angry ones, proud, haughty, and arrogant expressions, lies, perjury, &c. which may be called corrupt, because such communication springs from a corrupt heart; is an evidence of the corruption of it; the subject matter of it is corrupt; and it conveys corruption to others, it corrupts good manners; and is the cause of men’s going down to the pit of corruption: wherefore a restraint should be laid upon the lips of men; men have not a right to say what they please; good men will be cautious what they say, otherwise their religion is in vain; and conscious of their own weakness, they will pray to God to set a watch before their mouth, and to keep the door of their lips, and not suffer anything to come out,
but that which is good for the use of edifying: or “for edification”, as the Syriac version renders it; the Arabic version reads, “for the edification of all”; that is, that hear; and the Vulgate Latin version and Claromontane exemplar, “for the edification of faith”: for the building up of saints on their most holy faith, and for the encouragement and increase of the grace of faith: in the Greek text it is literally, “for the edification of use”; for useful edification, or what is useful for edification; and is suited to the present want or opportunity, as the word is by some rendered: and that must be “good”, which answers such an end; meaning not that the language should be formally and grammatically good, though to speak with propriety is useful and serviceable, and tends the more to instruction and edification; but that which is materially good, or the subject of it is good; that which is true, pure, pleasant, and profitable:
that it may minister grace unto the hearers; may be grateful and acceptable to them, or may minister the grace of God to them; that is, the doctrine of grace, the Gospel of the grace of God; and be a means of conveying the principle of grace into the hearts of the hearers, and of drawing it forth into exercise where it is; and such speech or communication which springs from a gracious heart, and from a principle of grace in the heart, and is upon the subject of the grace of God, is most likely to be thus useful and edifying: agreeably to all this are some sayings of the Jews (h),
Matthew Henry Commentary 4:29-32
Filthy words proceed from corruption in the speaker, and they corrupt the minds and manners of those who hear them: Christians should beware of all such discourse. It is the duty of Christians to seek, by the blessing of God, to bring persons to think seriously, and to encourage and warn believers by their conversation. Be ye kind one to another. This sets forth the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expression of it, in a humble, courteous behaviour. Mark how God’s forgiveness causes us to forgive. God forgives us, though we had no cause to sin against him. We must forgive, as he has forgiven us. All lying, and corrupt communications, that stir up evil desires and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil-speaking, and malice, grieve the Holy Spirit. Provoke not the holy, blessed Spirit of God to withdraw his presence and his gracious influences
As James taught, we need to control our speech . He compared our tongues to a large ship being controlled by a small rudder. We cannot control the waves in the sea but we are commanded to control our reaction to them.
There is power in our words because they are connected to our thoughts. Our thoughts influence our actions and mindset. The ultimate expression of this is when God spoke the world into existence in Genesis and when He wins the war against evil in Revelation, all by His words.
Think about this: Jesus is called the Word. The Holy Bible is the Word. Words are no doubt important because of what they represent. We Christians represent God to the world. God loved the world so much He died for it. Amazing love.
WORD / WORLD LOVE.
Yet it isn’t just the words we choose but also how we use them. Communication experts tell us our tone and body language convey a significant amount of a words mean. We need to fully integrate our communication from the inside out to be most effective and genuine
This passage gives us a couple strong principles to apply; filters to strain our thoughts thru before we speak. What is good and necessary for the other parties edification is one factor. Another is that is should be said in love and grace to build one another up. That doesn’t always mean soft but appropriate and applying the golden rule. Like the tried and true saying, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should listen twice as much and thinks twice before we speak to ensure or words are indeed wholesome and edifying.
GOD almighty, please cleanse my heart and mind. Help filter my thoughts and thus my words finer and finer. Encourage me to speak the truth in love with grace and discernment.