October is Fire Prevention Month. People are being urged to be cautious so as not to start any kind of fire that might get out of control and do serious damage to life and property. Fire that is out of control is a dangerous situation, one that we must take seriously.
The Bible warns us of the dangerous fires that we can start with our tongues. James 3:5b-6 says, “…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.”
Countless lives have been harmed by words that should not have been spoken. Gossip, slander and words spoken out of anger have caused hurt feelings, have destroyed friendships and marriages and have ruined reputations.
The Bible often exhorts us to consider our words carefully, lest we harm the very people to whom we are supposed to show the love of Jesus. It’s never easy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can prevent many “fires” from doing the kind of damage that the human tongue is capable of doing.