“The Bible warns us of a small but destructive fire in James 3:3-12.
James was concerned about lives and relationships, not buildings, when he wrote, “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). But our words can also be constructive. Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” The apostle Paul says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6). As salt flavors our food, grace flavors our words for building up others.
Jesus said that our words come from our hearts and reveal if we are good or evil. “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). Through the help of the Holy Spirit our words can encourage people who are hurting, who want to grow in their faith, or who need to come to the Savior. Our words can put out fires instead of starting them. —Bill Crowder”