Entries by Contributor

Every Breath You Take

Breathing is incredible, when you stop and think about it. Though I’m no biologist (far too squeamish to be one), I know a few basic things about it: (1) It not only draws in gases that are vital to our survival, it also expels gases that would otherwise poison us. That is clever, and a […]

A Full Life

By C. P. Hia During the celebration of the Chinese New Year, it is customary to use certain words in print and conversation. One word is often used by itself. It is the word full, meaning “abundance of” and is used to wish someone material prosperity for the year ahead. Moses told the Israelites about […]

February 10, 2013 

READ: James 3:1-12 

The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. —James 3:6 

Greek fire was a chemical solution that was used in ancient warfare by the Byzantine Empire against its enemies. According to one online source, it was developed around ad 672 and was used with devastating effect, especially in sea warfare because it could burn on water. What was Greek fire? Its actual chemical composition remains a mystery. It was such a valuable military weapon that the formula was kept an absolute secret—and was lost to the ravages of history. Today, researchers continue to try to replicate that ancient formula, but without success.

One source of catastrophic destruction among believers in Christ, however, is not a mystery. James tells us that the source of ruin in our relationships is often a very different kind of fire. He wrote, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body” (James 3:6). Those strong words remind us how damaging unguarded words can be to those around us.

Instead of creating the kind of verbal “Greek fire” that can destroy relationships, families, and churches, let’s yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit’s control and allow our words to glorify the Lord.

— Bill Crowder

It seems, Father, that sometimes we are our own
worst enemies. Forgive us for speaking destructively
to fellow Christians, and teach us to use wise words
that can encourage and build their walk with You.

To bridle your tongue, give God the reins of your heart.