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 person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell (James 3:5-6).
When I was a kid, my grandparents took me to a party. I don’t know what they were thinking—they must have been hard up for a babysitter. All I know is that it was a grandparents-type party, and I was the only one in the place who was not able to discuss bursitis, the Depression, and the genius of Ike from a first-hand perspective.
I was bored nigh unto death, and I went looking for entertainment.
I discovered the bathroom, in which a candle was burning.
Fire needs oxygen in order to keep…being fire. I had learned that somewhere. My intense boredom combined with my utter lack of common sense produced a deep need for a science experiment. The candle was of the small votive-type, burning happily at the bottom of a jar-thingy. All I needed was something to cover the mouth of the jar-thingy and seal out the oxygen…
I looked around the room…
At least the party ceased to be boring.
We have all seen the damage that fire can cause. Forests, homes, lives destroyed by the careless match, the unseen spark, the idiot kid with a votive candle and lack of common sense.
At the same time, fire is one of our most important tools. Light, heat, and tasty barbecue all come from that same spark.
Fire must be controlled. Fire must be treated with respect and a healthy dollop of fear for the damage it can cause.
Of course, James isn’t really talking about fire here, is he?
Watch your sparks today, Beloved.