DAILY DEVOTION, May 1, 2021
It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it brags about doing great things. A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. 6 And the tongue is like a fire. It is a whole world of evil among the parts of our bodies. The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body. It starts a fire that influences all of life. The tongue gets this fire from hell (James 3:5-6, ICB).
When I lived on Woodland Drive, I decided to burn some leaves in the back of the yard. I thought my hose would reach the area. It didn’t, and my little fire soon became a big blaze. I imagined a vast fire would spread to the woods behind the house, and I would be in trouble. I could see the headline in the Enquirer: “Pastor of Warsaw Christian Church burns down many acres of woods.” I ran to the neighbor and received some much-needed help. While I burned more than I had planned, including a portion of my neighbor’s yard, we managed to get things under control.
James likens the tongue to a fire. Our careless words, our gossip, may seem to be a small matter, but it can ignite a spiritual forest fire. James says that such words come straight from hell. The devil chuckles when he sees how our words can damage the church and fellow Christians. Paul tells us to “let your speech be always with grace” (Col. 4:6). Good advice. Let’s resolve to be very careful when we speak. We don’t want to start a spiritual forest fire in our church!
Father, please button my lips when words of gossip want to slip out. I don’t want to hurt others or the church by my careless words. May my words always reflect kindness and grace. I ask this favor in the name of Jesus, Amen.