Investigators suspect that a 5-year-old playing with a lighter set a Christmas tree on fire, causing a tragic blaze that killed 12 family members in a Philadelphia rowhome early Wednesday. This was the city’s deadliest fire in more than a century. Among those killed were three sisters and several of their children. The deaths are being mourned not only in Philadelphia, but all across the nation.
A lighter is a small thing, and has a useful purpose. But in the wrong hands a lighter can cause death and destruction. The same is true of the human tongue. James 3:3-6 says, “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 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.”
Don’t be like a 5-year-old with a lighter! Be in control of your tongue!