Timeless truths about fire. You probably remember the horror of literally thousands of acres of forest burned down by a thoughtless act. To see trees carelessly destroyed is angering. I may not be a “tree hugger” but I love nature. Add to that the lives that were forever changed and we see the devastation of fire. The tongue can be even more destructive.
Over a decade ago a man visited the church I was pastoring at the time. His family’s name was on the stained glass window. As he left he praised me and then slandered his former pastor. I was shocked. When I later had a transparent conversation with him about his unfounded comments, he apologized. Here’s the great challenge of our day – people, even and sometimes especially, Christians find it natural and normal to use their tongues to set forest fires. They destroy the reputations of others. They do untold damage to the Kingdom. And yet, they do not seem to think anything of it.
I was angered at the cavalier attitude of some of those in the past who have burned down thousands of acres, destroyed homes, and taken lives. I wonder how God feels about those who carelessly spread rumors, slander, repeat evil, and encourage others who are engaged in those ungodly acts by listening to them.
What is the origin of such things? Hell.
“So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.” James 3:5-6 NASB