Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
A Hong Kong and American actor Bruce Lee (1940–1973) wrote, “Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep burning and unquenchable.” Who among us live with this consuming fire? Who can live with this continual burning? (Isa 33:14). Such a gift is from God.
Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965), a French-German theologian remarked, “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” These won’t be like worthless people who dig up evil with words that scorch the ground (Prov 16:27). They are unlike the light of the wicked that goes out (Job 18:5), instead, their flames give light.
A Brilliant Flame
How should men and women live? Boris Yeltsin (1931–2007), president of the Russian Federation, said, “A man must live like a great brilliant flame and burn as brightly as he can. In the ends he burns out. But this is far better than a mean little flame.” While Nikola Tesla (1856–1943), a Serbian-American inventor amplified Yeltsin’s view further when he stated: “The spread of civilization may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power.”
Undoubtedly, a simple spark can have far-reaching effects. Johan Lehrer (b. 1981), an author captured this phenomenon: “Creativity is a spark. It can be excruciating when we’re rubbing two rocks together and getting nothing. And it can be intensely satisfying when the flame catches and a new idea sweeps around the world.”
Success in Life
The Lord assures us that when we pass through waters, he’ll be with us. Rivers won’t overflow. When we walk through fire, we won’t be scorched, nor, the flames burn us (Isa 43:2). That’s how we’ll be successful in life. Walter Peter (1839–1894), an English essayist showed us: “To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.” And, Bernard Williams (1929–2003), an English philosopher recognized: “Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.”