Proverbs 26:20-21 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to the fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife.”
I’m sitting at my friend’s house watching her wood burning fireplace. Left unattended the fire dies down over the course of an hour. Only when she adds more wood and stokes the fire do the flames begin to leap to the top of the stove and warm the room again.
It makes me think about my life. How often am I wood thrown on the fire of those around me. When my family members are having a rough day, are my words encouraging and graceful or am I stoking the fire in their soul?
Whisperer in Greek is ragan which means to criticize, grumble, slander.
Contention in Greek is madon which means strife, to judge, dispute, goven, quarrel
“For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there are no grumblings or criticism,
strife quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to the fire, So is a judgmental or quarrelsome man to kindle strife. Paraphrase of Proverbs 26:20-21
How very easy is it to feel entitled? We deserve respect and if we don’t get it, are we quick to demand it? How many quarrels, hurt feelings and ugliness could be avoided if we didn’t answer fire with fire? It’s not easy though, is it? I know that when faced with someone else’s fire, it’s so much easier to let the fire leap from our lips.
James 3:5-6a “Likewise, 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. The tongue also is a fire…”
I pray you would “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Ps. 141:3. It’s so easy to flame a fire when I’m in the moment. I need your strength so I would not kindle fires but to be part of the solution and help those around me to be more like you. Help me to pause in the moment and shut my mouth. May I focus on putting out fires and not start them or keep them going. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Ps. 14:19 In Jesus Name, Amen.