My mom had me read this passage in James to my siblings in the car on the way to school a couple days ago. One part really stuck out to me. “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” It’s referring to the harm our tongues can do, and that it controls our bodies, it’s desperate need to be tamed.
Over that past week, I’ve seen the extensive affects of one single lie. It breaks trust. It leads to more lies. It ruins relationships. And just like a single spark can burn down a forest, it doesn’t just affect one person. The fire may start with one tree, but it spreads. It chars, burns, scorches, and destroys the trees around it.
Mending that forest after a fire is not an overnight process. It takes work and extensive time for the forest to grow back to the full beauty that it once was.
The words we speak, the lies we tell; they are the sparks. They start the fire that spreads. The cause scars. They affect more than just us.
But, on the flip side, they can bless, encourage, build up walls. They can give thanks. They can apologize. They can take responsibility. They can spread truth.
Your tongue can’t do both. It can burn down or build up. I hope that the words that come out of my mouth are pleasing to God. And if they weren’t, I’m working harder now to make sure that that they do. I don’t want to be that spark that ends a forest.