So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest. —James 3:5
On August 24, 2000, a forty-six-year-old woman tossed a burning match onto the ground when she stopped by the road to light a cigarette. Rather than putting out the burning match, she just glanced at it and left the area.1 Many days later, the fire she had recklessly started was finally contained. Timber worth more than forty million dollars was destroyed, and over 80,000 acres were burned.
It’s easy to think, How dare she leave a burning match in a dry forest! Yet how often do we throw out burning words without thinking about the consequences? You may even walk away after saying words that deeply wound others—not wanting to look back at the enormous damage you caused.
If you’re like me, you may sometimes talk without thinking. It’s easy to blurt out words when you’re under pressure. Although we may have no intention of hurting others, our words can inflict great damage which can take years to restore.
1 Rubel Shelly, Nashville, Tennessee; “Wyoming Woman Accused of Starting South Dakota Wildfire,” CNN.com.
Make it Personal
Ask the Lord to help you more carefully consider your words, so that no one will be burned by them.