Pr. 26:21: “As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.”
My husband has been working on mastering the art of fire making. He now only technically needs 1 stick to start a fire. From there we only have to add more wood to turn it into an entire campfire. If we didn’t douse the fire with water afterwards, it could spread and grow even larger.
Words can be the same. Sometimes it only takes 1 or 2 words to kindle strife. That strife then has the potential to grow larger and larger.
As the wood that ignites the fire, we can be contentious, provoking others by arousing and igniting anger and conflict. Conversely, we can take preventative measures when speaking, possibly even quenching the fires already beginning to catch their lives ablaze, by allowing rivers of living water to flow out of our hearts.
When we believe in Jesus, He fills us with Living Water, and He said those waters will flow from our hearts. (Luke 7:38)
We certainly have the option of holding that back from others, kindling strife through harshness, unforgiveness, meanness, disdain, indifference, apathy, impatience, intolerance, and blame. (Sorry, I was on a roll)
Or we could, instead, recognize the thirst in others around us, and choose to pour forth the living water through forgiveness, compassion, empathy, grace, mercy, and understanding.
Remembering that first and foremost, God is love, we can realize that we are all broken and imperfect, and offer His love to those around us. Those words we speak are either kindling a fire of conflict and strife, or refreshing and encouraging a thirsty soul.
Before speaking, we need to think ahead, and do our part to prevent strife. Everyone could use a refreshing douse of living water to extinguish the fires and quench their thirsty soul.
Pretty thirsty myself,
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