taming the blowtorch

George Nettleton
July 25, 2023

Is it just me, or have you ever popped off with the first thing that comes to mind and wished you could take it back? Have you argued to prove you’re right, regardless of whether you are right or wrong? Have there been times you just didn’t want to give in, fearing your ego would be tarnished?  Ever lost your temper over a trivial situation?  Probably none of these have been one-time occurrences. 


I sometimes would lose my cool when disciplining our children. Recently, I’ve felt my ire arising with our grandchildren, especially when there’s a “make me” attitude; that nasty attitude that defies and says, “Why should I listen to you?” I really need to watch my tongue.


The Apostle James speaks directly about this whole idea of communication. So also, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! (James 3:5 NASB1995).  The Cotton Patch Bible gets even more to the point when it refers to the tongue as: the devil’s blowtorch. In case you didn’t know, a blowtorch is a portable burner for mixing gas and oxygen to produce a very hot flame.  It is used for soldering, welding, and glass blowing. The photo above features such a powerful piece of equipment.


Have you ever observed a forest fire? A house or barn burning? It can ‘encourage’ itself by growing larger until it consumes and destroys all in its way, leaving behind a pile of ashes. That’s what the tongue can do: escalate the argument and/or destroy the relationship.

It is so easy to use the tongue for destruction rather than for good. Only by yielding your tongue can God help you do a 180.  Ask forgiveness and mean it.  Allow God to work on taming your blowtorch.

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