Day 34: It only takes a Spark
“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. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
These next few days of scripture paint a pretty bleak picture about the impact of our carelessly wielded words when we’re not submitted to the restraining power of the Holy Spirit. James calls the tongue a world of evil that corrupts the whole body, the whole life, and has the devil as its master.
Because the tongue makes great boasts, we know the chief issue behind our sinful words is pride. In fact, an argument could be made for pride being at the root of all sin. God hates pride and, later in the book of James, we read that God opposes the proud. To oppose someone is to actively work against them, and scripture says this is exactly what God does in the case of pride. When we’re being prideful, we elevate our position and diminish God’s. We go after our own glory and sit on the throne of our own lives. We believe we deserve more than we do. We are self-absorbed and self-exalting. The words proceeding from a heart covered in pride are a world of evil.
It is so imperative that we not let sin go unchecked in our lives. Sin cherished in our hearts will eventually proceed from our mouths. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. Have you ever wondered how something grew so out of control from one little thing that was said? James reminds us there’s no such thing as a little thing when it comes to the words we speak. Even the tiniest spark can start a raging forest fire.
Pay special attention to your heart this week and be a student of the words you speak. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Father, you care enough about words to have given us a book full of inspired ones that help us know how to live. Show us the areas of our hearts where we’re harboring anything that doesn’t please you and let the words of our mouths be pleasing in your sight.