A few weeks ago I was visiting by phone with a friend that lives in Portland, Oregon. In the conversation the subject came up of the terrible fires that were raging in the Eagle Creek area as well as many other states. The one in Oregon was started by a teenager igniting fireworks during a burn ban and it started a fire that engulfed the Cascade Locks area. It has burned 48,668 acres and is only 46% contained as of 9/20/17.
Surely, that the teenager never thought before he ignited those fireworks that what he did would cause so much damage.
The Bible states in James 3:6 NIV “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the course of one’s life on fire, and is itself on fire by hell.”
I know in my own life the Lord has had to correct me on many occasions for what I said to, or about others that was not Christ-like. How many times do we say something not thinking about the harm and hurt that it may cause? I know that only the Lord can control our tongue as we are totally surrendered to Him in this area of our lives.
Under South Korean law, anybody who makes a false statement and thereby damages the credit or reputation of another person shall be subject to imprisonment up to five years (taken from McHenry’s Stories for the Soul). What if we lived in South Korea, would our normal routine of conversation place us under the threat of incarceration? No matter where we live, in America where we have free speech or South Korea, as Christians we are commanded to abstain from using our tongue for evil, but instead use this beautiful gift of speech for blessing others and praising God. Those same fireworks in Oregon that were used for evil can also, bring excitement on the 4th of July in America to celebrate and bring joy when used properly.