No one wakes up in the morning thinking of ways to destroy their life. But there is a sure way to ruin your life if you’re not careful, and many people are doing so without realizing it. It all comes down to one of the smallest parts of your body, the tongue. Is your tongue wreaking havoc, destroying your success? It could be. Reign in your tongue and you will increase your chances of succeeding in every area of life.

“Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark,” says James. “The tongue,” he adds, “is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:5,6 NIV).  There is enough here to motivate me for the rest of my life. How about you? Is your tongue ruining your life — and the lives of others?


“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in  God’s likeness,” says James 3:9. The tongue is the most popular assault weapon in America, our go-to means of cutting others down. We talk at each other rather than with each other. We “listen” largely so we can find opportunities to get our two cents in.

Do you unecessarily talk about people behind their backs? Do you say things about people that are not true as if they are established fact? If people knew how you talk about them in secret, would they be shocked?

It’s time to pay more careful attention to the words you’re speaking, because your tongue could be destroying your life, and the lives of many other people. You could be undermining yourself, and others, without even realizing it.

Instead of using your tongue to tear others down, start using it to build others up. Look for the good in people, and talk about it. Engage in what I call “godly gossip,” by talking about the good things you see in people. Our nation could use this approach right now.

Be the most positive person you know. When you are, you’ll increase your own chances of success, and those of everyone around you, too. The alternative is not healthy or wise at all. It’s undermining.

Don’t just think about it. Make changes in the ways you use your tongue. You’ll be glad you did. 




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Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comA Call For Courage, Michael Anthony I'm a husband, father, inspirational speaker, podcaster, blogger, and Lead Pastor of Genesis Church, in York, Pennsylvania, where I live among farm animals and snack foods. I'm the author of A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear (Thomas Nelson Publishers), and the soon to be released Courageous Life™ Motivational Planner. Both are available wherever books are sold. Send speaking, interview, and guest appearance inquiries to , or click here and do your thing. For keynote speaking, interview and guest appearance inquiries, contact
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