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Tiny But Mighty

In an area that is very dry, even a small flame can turn into a forest fire. Something as tiny as a match or a lighter could affect hundreds of acres of land.      

James uses a similar metaphor in the Bible to teach us about the importance of our words. He compares our tongue to a small spark that can start a fire. He goes as far as to say it “…corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). That’s not exactly subtle. But it does show us the potential power of our words.

Has your mood ever been affected by someone’s words? An encouraging word delivered at the right time can brighten up even the worst day. At the same time, a thoughtless word can cut us to our core and leave us feeling vulnerable and uncared for. Such a small part of our body yields the power to both build and destroy.

If, as James 3:4 says, the tongue is the rudder that controls the ship, we are the captains that steer the rudder. We have the power to decide which words we will use.


  • Think about the last time that you were hurt by someone else’s words. How do you wish they had spoken to you?
  • Is there a situation in which you could have avoided hurting someone if you had spoken differently? Why did you choose the words you did?
  • What’s one way that you can use your words to encourage or build someone else up today?

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