“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,” (James 3:5, NIV).
In April 2011, news networks across the nation reported on the devastating fires that were overcoming the state of Texas. With West Texas averaging 15 inches of rain a year, it had only received thirteen-hundredths of an inch. The land was so dry that wild fires were popping up everywhere. Burn bans were implemented, and citizens were trying to do everything they could to keep their landscapes and homes from being destroyed by the heat. From January 1 to October 27, 2011, the local fire departments in Texas had responded to 22,477 fires, which affected over 1 million acres of land. The Texas Forestry Service had responded to 3,284 fires that affected almost 3 million acres during the same time. All it takes is the right conditions for one spark to wreak havoc for an entire state.
With our mouths we can bring hurt or healing into other peoples’ lives. We can gripe and complain, tearing down the character and identity of another person, or we can hold our tongues in love, knowing and understanding the damage we could employ. We never know how the words we use may affect another person’s life. But, if we are using our words to bring encouragement and hope, we help quench the fire the enemy longs to start. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to tear someone down, but it takes a lot of courage to do the opposite of what we feel like doing.
 “Texas Burning From Border to Border,” CNN US, http://articles.cnn.com/2011-04-20/us/texas.fires_1_new-fires-texas-forest-service-fire-risk?_s=PM:US, (October 30, 2011).