The Gatlinburg, Tennessee area has been devastated by fires that have ravaged much of the Great Smoky Mountains. More than 14,000 residents have been displaced. Over 15,000 acres have been consumed by the blazes. It is estimated that over 700 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. It has been confirmed that 7 people died in fires in Sevier County this week. One eye-witness described what he saw—“It was like an apocalyptic wasteland.”
The Bible uses the example of a forest fire to illustrate the damage that can be done by the spoken word. We must be very careful that we use our words for positive purposes rather than to cause destruction.
“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.”—James 3:5-6.