Posted by: bshelley | August 21, 2008

Fire Breathing

Today’s Verse: James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of inequity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. NASB

A few years ago I went out to dinner with my mother and some family in the town she lives in near Dallas, Texas. There is a little German food place there that has very good food. An unusual item on the menu caught my eye. I like spicy food. There was something on there called Texas Killer Habenero Schnitzel. There was a written warning on the menu about the outrageous level of spicy heat that was the nature of this dish. I inquired about it and the waiter informed me that I would have to talk to the manager before they could accept my order. The manager came over and reiterated that this was beyond spicy hot. My macho kicked in and I said something like “bring it on big boy” or words to that effect. Well, they were certainly right. This stuff was blackout hot. My head turned red, I got dizzy and I was drenched in sweat by the time I had eaten only about half of it. But, I had opened up my big mouth and now I “had” to finish the task or be shamed publicly. I felt better after about three days, but I never did that again. If only when flaming and harmful words passed over our tongue we would have such a traumatic reaction maybe we would not do that again either. If when we gossip about someone or say something disrespectful our head turned red and we broke into a sweat and got dizzy, then maybe once would be sufficient. Unfortunately, that is not how it goes. Even though the words we speak may do irreparable harm, we breathe them out, fire that they are, with little thought or effort.

Lord I pray that you would make me conscious of the words I am speaking. Help me to speak only words that build others up and encourage. Strengthen me when others attempt to draw me into destructive conversations. Place the bit of Your word in my mouth. Purge the source of bitter words in my heart. Amen

Audio Version: seeking-gods-heart-james-3_6


  1. I struggle with a “fired-up” tongue at times. It’s especially difficult when someone wrongs me. Although I’m doing much better than before, I feel such self recrimination afterwards…
    Bless you for another thoughtful post.

  2. I love your story about the schnitzel! I told my husband and he was laughing.

    I have been seeing crosses in everything lately. I see a cross in the wood in your picture of the fire! God bless you!

  3. Thank you for your posts. I am going to add you to my blogroll. I hope you have a great day!

  4. Great post as always. You know, it is only since I have become a believer that I have learned that life and death are truly in the tongue. Have a great weekend.

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