It’s absolutely amazing how careless we have become with our words. I guess we have always been this way, but it seems to have gotten worse with the advent of social media and I think that the ability to hide behind a mask has made some folks a little more brave and a lot more careless with their words.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! -James 3:5
Smokey the Bear taught us that a simple spark can set the woods on fire and destroy in minutes what nature took years to grow and develop. And James is explaining that our words can work in much the same way in our lives and living.
We can use our words to tear down or to build up. Our words will either break us or make us better. If we use our words to complain and spread negativity, then they will defeat and ruin us, as well as those around us. When we line our words up with God’s Word and seek the positivity of the Gospel, then they will lead us to blessing and victory.
I hate to say it, but sometimes, those of us who call ourselves Christians can be some of the most negative and pessimistic people you could ever run across. And before we get to busy thinking that it is someone else that we are talking about here, we would do well to look in the mirror and review some of our more recent conversations for revelations that the Spirit might use to surprise us with some gentle correction.
The bottom line is that we can use our tongues to set a fire that provides a warm, safe place. A place where people can be themselves without fear of retribution, judgement and condemnation. Or we can use our tongues to set a fire that will destroy the very blessings we were created to live in.
I can remember my Granny saying when I was just a little boy: “Think before you speak!” I have found that when I really take the time to do that, sometimes I don’t speak at all, because I know it is better to keep my mounts shut, than to light that fire. At other times, after thinking before I speak, I have found that I changed my words so that I might light a fire of acceptance and comfort of others, which changes their life and mine.
My prayer is that God’s words will be my words and provide comfort, healing, encouragement, joy and love to all around… So I will do my best to think about a couple of other forest animals and what Thumper shared with Bambi: “My Mother said: “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say nothin at all!”