Two-step Charlie was the name given to a particularly poisonous snake found in Vietnam during the war. Legend said if a bamboo viper bites you, two steps later you'll drop dead. Was the potency of this snake's venom exaggerated? Who knows? But I wouldn't want to find out, would you?

There's no exaggerating the tongue's powerful toxin. James says the tongue is "a restless evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:8). Quicker than a snake can strike a helpless victim, we can sink our verbal fangs into people and cause lethal damage.

So let's be careful how we walk and talk. A careless word or two is all it takes to hurt the people we love.

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