words, actions, affirmation, life-affirming, Jesus, inspirationThe previous day had brought clear blue skies. Although the weather forecast called for more of the same, we were now engulfed in a smoky haze.

Wildfires were burning hundreds of miles from where we live. The smoke had travelled and now covered a vast area.

All indications are that these fires did not result from natural causes. A careless action by an unknown person caused the devastation we’d been hearing about on the new reports. Tongues of fire had consumed the homes of countless families.

Even at this distance, lives were being negatively affected. The smoke haze caused breathing difficulties for those with respiratory problems. Warnings were issued to stay indoors.

All of this serves to remind me that my actions can have far-reaching effects. Thoughtless words can spread like wildfire, causing devastation that reaches farther than I realize. My tongue of fire can result in a haze of hurt for others and regret for myself.

This is something I work hard to control but realize that on my own I will never be able to completely tame my tongue. In order to speak affirmation to others and not wound with my words, I need to constantly bring my thoughts to Jesus. He will provide me with the right heart and attitude so that the words I speak will be life-affirming.

O Lord, set a guard at my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3 GWT)