Consider what a great forest
is set on fire by a small spark.
On September 1, 1666, sparks from smoldering embers in Thomas Farrinor’s bakery oven ignited stacked firewood and set the building on fire. The flames quickly spread to nearby warehouses packed with flammable inventory. Soon London was an inferno. The Great Fire of London destroyed 13,200 houses, eighty-seven churches—including the renowned St. Paul’s Cathedral—and many other historic landmarks. Over four-fifths of London was demolished—all from a spark in a bakery.
James warned of another out-of-control conflagration that begins with only a spark: “The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue . . . can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction” (Jas 3:5, 6).
Stop the fire before it starts.
Your ears aren’t likely to cause trouble,
but your tongue is.