Words Matter: Do you want to start a forest fire ?

Forest fires start with words

How are you using your words, blessing or cursing? It matters to God how we treat those He places along our path. No one is perfect not one of us!

My current self reflection is: are my words encouraging, speaking truth in love or in frustration, snarky, unthinking babble?

What is my main purpose when speaking is to be right or to cause more destruction to someone who is struggling? Have you ever thought about how your words impact people in your sphere?

Matthew 12:34-37 NLT
[34] You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. [35] A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. [36] And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. [37] The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

Do you want to acquit or condemn another person who is created by God? Gossip or slander tears down, it does not build up, even in asking prayer for someone. Go to God with concerns, He knows the details of His children. There are times you feel prompted to share your struggles, the Lord will guide you to safe, Loving, Godly brothers and sisters in Christ.

Titus 3:1-2 NLT
[1] Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. [2] They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

Do you want to be known as the quarrelsome, judgmental Christian or a gentle, humble servant of Jesus? If you are a parent, our kids watch how we use our tongues. Troubles come when we speak without thinking. I am guilty of this character flaw. It’s as if my tongue has a mind of its own. James is a solid book of the Bible, here are a few pearls of wisdom I turn to often.

James 1:2-12,26 NLT
[2] Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. [3] For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. [4] So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. [5] If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. [6] But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. [7] Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. [8] Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. [9] Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. [10] And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. [11] The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. [12] God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. [26] If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

Reread James 1:26: If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and our religion is worthless. Wow, that hurts, it is a conviction in your heart meant to bring a pause, and lead you to repent, ask forgiveness from Jesus and for help to break this flaw, in the Name of Jesus. We can’t do this on our own, our flesh gets the credit for impulse control issues. We need to grow in self control, a fruit of the spirit!!

Galatians 5:22-25 NLT
[22] But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. [25] Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Those who parent, mentor, or feel the call to share wisdom with others are called to a higher standard. Their loyalty must be in God alone. We live in a world with trial and daily we get the opportunity to hone our faith in Jesus. We must be humble and seek the Lord for all things, too.

James 3:1-10,13,17-18 NLT
[1] Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. [2] Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. [3] We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. [4] And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. [5] In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. [6] And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. [7] People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, [8] but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. [9] Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. [10] And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! [13] If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. [17] But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. [18] And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

The tongue can bless or curse. Do you want to start a forest fire? Our tongue and words can be restless and evil, especially when you are Hangry. I remind myself to evaluate for H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry,Lonely,Tired. Even still, there is no excuse for lack of self control.

On my own, I may not be gentle, peace loving, or willing to yield to another. But with accountability of fellow believers in Christ, time in stillness speaking with my best friend, Jesus and asking Him to help me change character flaws, I am hopeful of healthy communications. Grateful to those who speak truth over my circumstances so I can grow in Christ and in community of His people.

I want to be known as a peacemaker and an example of a fruit bearing Christian, how about you? It is a new day, start to tame your tongue and may the words we speak be pleasing to God and encourage others.

Psalm 19:14 NLT
[14] May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Sky’s the limit!!

Horse bits and Sparks

Relationship by MM

Is it me or do you feel as if there’s more grumbling and complaining lately than people speaking life and joy to each other? Scripture tells us the grumbling and complaining are not from the Lord and the more we grumble the more discontented and unhappy that we feel.

It could be in our community, it could be in the schools, in politics, and within the church, the attempt of dividing people who are created in the image of God is increasing. Can you relate? It is our own selfish nature that wants to be heard, or have the last word. We can speak without thinking and cause a forest fire.

James 3:2   Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

Yes, another blog post on self-control, do we speak life or do we speak death? The tongue is to be used to speak life. In the Book of James, we are reminded the tongue has the potential to speak wonderful blessings or even curses.

James 3:7 - 10   People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. 

The tongue is defined, in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as, “a fleshy movable muscular process of the floor of the mouths..the human speech organ”, or “manner or quality of utterance with respect to tone or sound, the sense of what is expressed, or the intention of the speaker”. What is our intention when we speak?

In the Bible, James chapter 3 is full of wisdom regarding the tongue and learning self-control. It describes the rudder of a ship and the bit within a horse’s mouth. We have horses, most want to please their owner, however, they also have a stubborn streak and are powerful, majestic animals. The horse can be ridden in a halter when there is a great relationship between horse and rider. When the rider needs to ensure more control of the horse, be it a mountain trail, a cattle drive, or a new rider without a relationship, a bit provides pressure inside the horse’s mouth. Some bits are harsh and cruel while other bits are gentle in pressure.

Horse bits are connected to the reins, the reins provide guidance to the horse for the rider. As our kids were learning to ride, I likened the reins and bit to holding the hand of the horse through its mouth. Our horses wanted to please the rider, my daughter could ride bareback in a halter at times in the fields and at 4 H events because of their healthy relationship.

James 3:3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The tongue is one of the smallest muscles in the whole entire body but it can pack a punch or a flame. Why is the tongue a powerful body part? It can hurt or I can heal. It can set your life up for good or create a forest fire, as James shared.

What is your tongue doing today is it providing hope, encouragement, love, teaching, or providing hurt, shame, and guilt? I am checking my own attitude. I want to douse the ashes of conflict and instead pour blessings and life into those I meet. How about you?

A wise elder, your parent or grandparents’ wisdom may have taught deep breathes and counting to ten as a calming technique. It is not just to see if you are smart in math! The pause allows you to reconsider future actions and words you might speak.

James 3: 13 - 18    If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.


17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.


Being a peacemaker is possible if we stop the pride and selfish attitude (sin) and instead seek wisdom from God. It does not mean we let people step on us. We all need a little grace. I open my mouth and insert my foot often.

Wise tips: Listen well. Try to reframe the persons statements back to them. Clarify that you understand what they’re trying to say. Validate their feelings. And then answer softly and slowly. Be mindful of your words, this way you can douse the potential of a flame.

We the Messengers is an awesome Christian music artist because his lyrics give wisdom, he speaks disciplined in love, and this song is awesome!! It just reminds us to keep our eyes focused in the right space. “Come What May” is his most recent song. I saw him in concert, the artist is as humble and gifted as he sounds.

Enjoy your day and join me to stamp out a few fires by watching your words. 🙂