When you’re sick and you visit the doctor, what’s the first thing he nearly always says?

“Let me see your tongue.”

It seems like a doctor is able to tell what’s wrong with you just by looking at your tongue, doesn’t it?

This is also true in a spiritual sense. Your tongue has the ability to spread poison throughout your life, and it can infect everyone around you.

That’s why James gives a solemn warning about the tongue: It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. (James 3:6 NLT)

It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a way to prevent — and sometimes reverse — the damage.

Instead of speaking words that belittle, you can make an effort to speak words that bless.

Instead of using words that hurt, you can offer words that heal.

Instead of resorting to criticism, you can aim for encouragement.

And when you miss the mark on any of these, you can say, “I’m sorry.”

The tongue is powerful, not only in its ability to wreak havoc, but in its ability to build up others in every conversation. And in the process, it has the power to create lasting change.

Those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way (James 3:3 NLT)

What if, today, we made it our objective to speak words of hope, healing and encouragement in every conversation?