To Be An Arsonist or Not To Be


By Linda A. Knowles

"Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything," (Proverbs 13:3 NLT). "The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences," (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)

The tongue may be a tiny member of the body, but oh the disasters it can cause without practicing self-control. The tongue has within it the power of life and death. The tongue can tear down or build up, curse or bless, complain or speak gratefulness, tells lies or tells the truth... This tiny member of the body causes many problems when left unchecked and when left untamed.

We need to practice self-control, and with the Holy Spirit living within us, we cannot say we can't control what we say because self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So since the Holy Spirit lives within us, we do have self-control. We make the choice.

No one can make you swear. No one can make you tear someone down with your words. No one can make you use ungodly or unwholesome speech. You and only you choose how you will react in your use of speech. Let your speech be filled with saltiness and filled with grace. God will not hold someone else accountable for your words; He will hold you accountable. We are told in Romans 14:12 (NLT), "Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God," and in Matthew 12:35-37 (NLT), Jesus said, "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. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

"In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest on fire. The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell," (James 3:5-6).

What you say does have consequences.