Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. James 3:5
In summer, some parts of the country start to dry out and fires become a real hazard.
Those who have seen a brush fire realize there are few things in nature more devastating than such a blaze.
Years ago, one of the worst prairie fires on record was started inadvertently by an army officer stationed at Fort Hayes, Ohio. He and some friends had been hunting wild turkeys and paused for a few moments to rest. It was then the officer touched a match to some grass just to demonstrate how dry things were.
In a few minutes the entire area was ablaze. Fanned by the wind, the fire burned up thousands of acres of land, homes, buildings and livestock.
The same thing has happened to me.
No, I haven't started any prairie fires.
But there have been times when I have carelessly done or said something that has ignited a blaze of hard feelings and hurt relationships. Perhaps the same thing has happened to you.
You didn't mean to have bad things transpire, but they transpired anyway. If that's the case, remember that our loving Lord holds out forgiveness for that which is past and gives us direction on how to live for the future.
That doesn't mean our words and our actions will never cause problems, but it does mean the blazes can be contained and, because of our forgiving and rebuilding Savior that which has been burned can be restored.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us be aware of what we say and do. Keep us ever mindful so that Jesus might be honored and our words and actions all might be a blessing rather than a problem. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries