August 26, 2007


What's the harm? I'll be able to put it out, no problem.

The spark from that one little match spread so quickly, it nearly took my breath away. No water around. I remembered my mom throwing baking soda on a kitchen fire. I scooped up some dirt and tossed it on the flames. Again and again. It was no use. The small brush was too easily consumed.

I needed help. I ran and knocked on a neighbor's door.

There's a fire. I was just walking by & noticed it. (Sure...)

We took a couple buckets of water and doused the flames. The fire never reached beyond the small brushy area. No trees were damaged and no one got hurt. I raced home to change out of my wet clothes before my parents found out.

Not one of the most brilliant ideas of my lifetime. Certainly not something I'm proud to admit. It was a moment of adolescent abandon. A time when all rational thought flew out the window.

I had thought it would be thrilling. Even fun. A chance to get away with something just a little dangerous, that would be over as quickly as it started.

The tongue also is 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 3:6

My days of playing with matches are over, but I still play with fire. Like the burning match I flung on the ground, I sling words around and think I'll be able to control the damage.

It's just a idle gossip. No one will really get hurt.
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. (Prov. 16:28)

It's just one bad word. It slipped.
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. (James 3:10)

It's just a little white lie. No one will know the difference.
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. (Prov. 12:22)

It's just one day when I snapped at my family? They know I really love them.
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matt. 12:34)

Lord Jesus, pour Your Living Water over the fire of my tongue that I may stop burning those around me!



Xandra said...

Wow! Your post really hit me where I live. Thanks for the reminders of how my life should reflect the One who lives in me!

Kim said...

Great post! Just this morning in our Biblical counseling class, we went over wholesome speech vs. unwholesome speech.

Very convicting.

Alana said...

I love Matthew 12:34, so true!

aggiejenn@ReflectingHim said...

Amen! The tongue is a hard thing to control sometimes, and it can be so harmful.

Peach said...

Such a good word, Melissa. I really needed to read this today.

Janelle said...

Thank you for the fresh reminder. I certainly needed this.

Beautiful word picture with the real fire. It spreads do words.