Taking responsibility Sun 1st July 18

Whenever I am asked the question, ‘what do you miss about the North?’ the answer is always the same. The Moors! For the early years of my life I lived on in the foothills of the Pennines and later for twelve years, just two hundred metres from Saddleworth Moor. I have therefore watched the news this week with interest, as footage shows fires burning just over the hill from which we lived. Indeed, I recognise the hills, the reservoirs and some of the houses that have been evacuated. As part of the strategy to stop new fires breaking out, a fire officer warned against dropping cigarette’s, holding BBQ’s and even to be careful not to leave glass bottles in case they act as catalysts for fire. Isn’t it amazing that such small things can cause such great damage?

In James Chapter 3, we are reminded about the responsibility to control our tongues. James reminds us how a small bit can control a horse, how a small rudder makes a huge ship turn and how a small spark can set a great forest on fire. I am sure we have all experienced how unkind words have reeked a great deal of damage. However, I am also sure that there have been times when we have witnessed or experienced words of grace and kindness that have disproportionately been a blessing to us or others.

I encourage you then this week to speak wisely and to remember the challenge of Jesus who stated that ‘it is out of the overflow of the heart, that the mouth speaks’ (Luke 6:45).

Yours, Gareth