My tongue is on Fire!
“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 NIV11-GKE)
I grew up in Quilpue, a city in Valparaiso Chile. Quilpue is known as”The City of the Sun”. Quilpue enjoys a unique micro-climate, the sun shines most of the time all year around. Our family home is very close to the forest which is dry and has lots of eucalyptus trees and “boldos” a Chilean tree which is very flammable.
During the summer forest fires are very common, and on one summer day I was alone in the house, it was a sunny day and suddenly the sky turned grey from the smoke that was coming from the forest. I quickly got onto the roof and poured water onto it (I did this to prevent the roof heating up). I could see the flames from where I was standing and a number of fire engines arriving. Later we heard that the fire started with a small piece glass that was able to burn some dried leaves, plus with the help of the wind it became a dangerous fire.
James said the tongue, which is a small part of the body, is like an uncontrollable fire if we use the tongue to boast, accuse, blackmail, curse, gossip and well basically every negative thing that may come out of it. Derek Prince said “the tongue is a small part of the body, it is able to cause inestimable damage that may never be undone”.
Recently I was sitting with someone that was sharing with me how upset and angry they were about someone who had caused them a lot of pain and hurt. To be honest that person was right to feel that way but I could not help but notice the way this person was speaking, it was like trying to extinguish the fire with dead wood, consuming and destroying the other person. It was weird that the things that were said were almost at the same level of the hurt and pain that this person felt.
I could not help but wonder if there are other ways…
What if we can use our tongue to set people free and bring healing, whilst still acknowledging the pain and the hurt? What if we choose life over death, and healing over sickness?
What comes out of our mouths indicates what is in our hearts. What if we are influenced by another reality, which it is as real as the air we breathe. What if we release forgiveness from heaven and we let it loose on earth? What if we release gentleness from heaven and we let it loose on earth? What if we release healing from heaven and we let it loose on earth?
Solomon said it like this: “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4 ESV)
I have found that every time I use my tongue to cause a fire I get burnt and it breaks my spirit. I am not able to be free from the pain and hurt that was inflicted on me, in fact it has a reverse effect, I find myself more bound to that person, that memory, that hurt and that pain.
A “gentle tongue is a tree of life”, I believe that this is the language of the Holy Spirit. The gentle “Dove” resting on us, giving us life, protecting us , sheltering us and giving us life.
What if our tongues are a tree of life?