James 3: A small spark can start a deadly inferno

May 8th, 2007




It’s something that people in the south eastern parts of Australia are very familiar with: the bushfire season. It usually runs through January and February, our hottest summer months, but sometimes it starts earlier and finishes later. Vegetation grows extensively in Spring, then when Summer comes it dries out, so that by mid-summer all it needs is one match or one carelessly discarded cigarette to set an inferno ablaze. When the fires come, you have to decide whether to fight or run. Either way, it’s not a battle that you can win. It’s just a matter of trying to minimise and control the devastation…

The Letter from James — Chapter 3

3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, friends, because we teachers will be judged more critically. 3:2 We all make a lot of mistakes. Anyone who does not make mistakes in speaking is a mature person, able to control the whole body as well. 3:3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can direct their whole body. 3:4 In the case of ships, they can be guided by a small rudder wherever the helmsman wants to go, in spite of their large size and the strong winds. 3:5 The tongue is small, but makes great boasts. A little fire sets a large forest ablaze. 3:6 The tongue is a fire, a world of evil amongst our other body parts, contaminating the whole body, and setting on fire the course of a person’s life with flames from hell. 3:7 All types of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed by humans, 3:8 but no human is able to tame the tongue. It is an unpredictable evil, full of deadly poison. 3:9 We use it to bless our God and Father, and we use it to curse people who have been made in the image of God. 3:10 Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. Friends, it should not be like this. 3:11 Does a spring produce both fresh water and bitter water from the same opening? 3:12 Can a fig tree, friends, produce olives, or a can a grapevine produce figs? No, and a salty source will not produce fresh water.

3:13 Who amongst you is wise and understanding? Show by your good attitude that your actions are done with humility acquired from wisdom. 3:14 If you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your heart, do not be proud of it and deny the truth. 3:15 These things are not wisdom coming from above. They are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 3:16 Wherever jealousy and selfishness are present, there are clashes and all sorts of evil pursuits. 3:17 Wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also conciliatory, kind, obedient, full of mercy and the results of good deeds, unprejudiced, and genuine. 3:18 Peacemakers who plant seeds of peace produce a harvest of righteousness.

Entry Filed under: Ungratefulness

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. choosethecross.com ยป Gua&hellip  |  January 21st, 2012 at 8:02 am

    […] private way of posting comments makes it very easy to launch a public attack on someone else. The third chapter of the letter of James describes the dangers of the tongue, which could equally apply to the keyboard: The tongue is […]

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