I believe that in America we're in grave danger of becoming a mealy-mouthed, hypocritical society. We say something looks great, when privately we think it looks awful, we tiptoe around people's most extravagantly ridiculous beliefs, without doing them the great service of saying they've fallen off the table, and it's got to the point where we care much more about not hurting feelings than we do about basic honesty.
So, in answer to your question, Ms Eckles, I think you should NOT limit yourself to saying just good things. You, like the rest of us, have a responsibility to 'tell it like it is' sometimes.
Example: If you could have told Germans in 1937 that Hitler was a genocidal maniac, and following him would result in the deaths of millions of people ... that's a bad thing to say, but it's true as well.
You are referring to a long accepted ethical doctrine which is a good practice. It is however proper and even necessary in some instances to throw the doctrine to the winds and go with what the situation may dictate even when it's not "good" .
No. It is good to always treat other people like you want to be treated( Matthew 7:12). Although we should speak the truth it is not necessary to say everything that crosses our thoughts. In conjunction with speaking truth we should also remember qualities such as kindness, respect, and timing.
You should not even say "good things." The only things we should be saying are to report scientific facts, theories etc..; compliments, orders, rational requests, corrections with proper citation and evidence, etc... Basically its best to just keep the world moving and not rub people the wrong way because at the end of life, we all die and its a lot better if we all recognize that life for all of us was less wasted when we feel good throughout.
It's important that as followers of Jesus Christ, we imitate him in all aspects. Colossians 4:6 says "Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person."
The Bible says in James 1:19 "Know this, my beloved brothers. Every man must be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath". Since the way one uses his tongue means life or death and since no man today has perfect control over his tongue, it is the part of wisdom that one’s speech should not be hasty.—Jas. 3:3-8. So, by all means take to heart the bible's counsel “Be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath.” It will aid you to bring forth fruitage acceptable to God. It will aid you to use your tongue to the glory of the Creator. It will aid you in carrying out the divine will as expressed at Romans 14:19: “Let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another.”
That is definitely something most of us were taught from a early age. We should always find ways to say things that will upbuild and not tear down. The previous comment is correct. We are encouraged at Colossians 4:6 to let our words be "seasoned with salt". That however, takes effort on our parts, which means we have to to take a minute and think about what we are going to say, before we say it.