As of the middle of July, over 32,000 square kilometres of forest had been burning in Canada's summer heat, with the largest wildfires in Saskatchewan. Over 13,000 people had been forced to leave their homes. There is nothing like the destruction of a fire! Homes are lost, personal items that can never be replaced are suddenly gone, and people have to readjust in many ways.
This all reminds me that God's Word compares our tongues to a fire:
James 3:5-6 – Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. (NKJV)
An unruly tongue that gossips can do much harm to others. It can ruin another's credibility and reputation. As a fire can cause great destruction, so gossip can destroy the lives of those it affects. Shaming and bullying on school playgrounds and on social media are examples of how destructive words can be, especially when young people are led as, a result, to commit suicide.
Christians should be very careful with our speech. In fact, the Bible has harsh words for those who don't bridle their tongue:
James 1:26 – If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. (NKJV)
If we hear gossip about another, don't repeat it!
Proverbs 26:20 – Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. (NKJV)
Colossians 4:6 – Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (NKJV)
1 Peter 3:10 – He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. (NKJV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come before You, realizing that in and of ourselves, without You, we are nothing. We are in a spiritual battle as long as we are in this world. Help us to guard our tongues so that we always give glory to You and never do harm to anyone. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "The Church's One Foundation" (Lyrics)