Defuse the Fire
“There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (AMPC).
─ Proverbs 12:18
Have you ever been on the wrong end of a tongue lashing? Or perhaps you were so fired up you lost control and said some things you immediately wished you could take back. So many of us have.
In our verse today, James compares our tongue to a fire. Fire can be devastating. According to a 2019 report from the National Fire Protection Association, “local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 44,880 home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction each year in 2012-2016. Home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction caused an estimated average of 440 civilian deaths and 1,250 civilian injuries each year in 2012-2016, as well as an estimated $1.3 billion in direct property damage per year.”
The damage from an uncontrolled tongue can wipe out everything in a flash of heated conversation. Once those words escape your lips, you can neither control nor reverse the damage they can do.
Proverbs 12:18 says, “There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (AMPC).
When we’re upset, it’s difficult to hold your tongue, but usually not saying anything is best. There is great wisdom in diffusing the fire. Sometimes it’s best to smile and walk away.
Today’s One Thing
How has God helped you to bring healing to others through wise conversation? If that’s something you’ve been successful with, share that with someone who could benefit from it, in a calm and loving way. If your tongue sometimes gets the best of you, ask God to show you how to have a conversation with someone who could help you.