It is a fire. . .
It is that time of year. The news will be reporting forest fires weekly and some of those fires will burn for weeks before they are contained. Millions of dollars will be spent on fighting fires, and in insurance claims. Fire is a dangerous thing. Used wisely, fire is a good thing. Who doesn’t like to roast a hot dog or a marshmallow?
This morning I heard that a fire that has burned an enormous part of Arizona has been pin—pointed to an unattended campfire. Someone did not listen to Smoky the Bear. That unintentional forest fire has caused discomfort for so many people! Fortunately, no lives have been lost due to carelessness.
God’s Word declares in James chapter 3 that we hold within our bodies a fire. The tongue. The study of human anatomy points out the many uses of the tongue that are quite wonderful. I’d hate to not be able to talk among the many other beneficial functions of the tongue. Socially and spiritually, the tongue is also a torch that can sear and scorch everyone around it. James calls it a fire. Verse six warns, “and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members [parts of our body] that it defileth the whole body. . .”
Fire is good in its rightful place. Let that fire go unattended and what sin it can produce! King Solomon wrote in instruction in Proverbs 25:11 “A word, fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Thinking of that contrast, let’s guard our tongues. Don’t burn someone today and walk away smiling. I’ve observed that far too many times. Instead, give encouragement and direction, comfort, love.
How I wish I could say I’ve never burned anyone. But, I cannot say that. For those times, we need to trust God’s forgiveness, the forgiveness of those we’ve burned, and move forward with the intention of guarding our campfires.