Playing with Fire, Living with Fire

FireFlamingI imagine the response of the first human who discovered fire. Picture with me the look on his face when he flicked the lighter he had found along the path! OK, maybe not.

We can’t live without fire. Sometimes we can’t live with it. Fire is both friend and foe. A warm crackling fire in the fireplace is cozy; a fire raging in the house is catastrophic. A campfire in the forest is a great way to enjoy the treat of a s’more; a forest fire is a threat to all life found there.

God has given us many wonderful gifts in life, but it’s up to us if we use them for good or for evil. The tongue can help us articulate encouraging, helpful, and insightful words. The tongue can also form hurtful, dishonest, and spiteful words. The internet can be used to disseminate that which is positive (hopefully, like this e-mail) or that which is negative, such as pornography. A gun can be used for competitive target shooting or it can be used to kill people. A knife can peel an apple or stab a person. Sex can be the sacrament of marriage or be used to sell everything from soup to sailboats. We can redeem the time or kill time. A life can be used to bring goodness to the lives of others or be a curse to others.

Everything we’ve been given in life is essentially neutral in that we are given the choice to use it in a positive or negative way. More pointedly yet, we are given the choice to use it in a God-pleasing or a sinful way.

Each twenty-four hour period is packed full of opportunities, small and great, that can be utilized for good or evil. We’ve been given the marvelous gift of choice in each case. We’re to hear our Heavenly Father say to us, His children, “Make good choices.”

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”(The leader Joshua speaking to the Israelites – Joshua 24:15)

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