“Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.”
Proverbs 26:20 NLT

Forty-five people died and 8,500 structures were burned to the ground in California’s largest forest fire in history in Santa Rosa. Now hundreds of people, poor and middle class, can’t find homes because of a housing crunch in the San Francisco Bay area. Firefighters have been fighting frantically trying to get in front of the fire to cut it off.

What’s amazing about these firefighters is that they don’t use water. They use shovels. If they can cut off the path of the fire by digging trenches in the path of the fire then the fire has to go out because it has nothing else to feed off.

The tongue is a fire starter! James 3:6 states that “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.”

Churches have been destroyed, marriages have been maligned, relationships destroyed because people couldn’t stop running their mouths. Just as a fire will go out when there is no wood so to quarrels disappear without gossip. 


1. Gossip can set a community on fire. There can never be unity in a community that has someone purposely starting fires with their mouth. We have to identify spiritual arsonist in our organizations and tell them to cease and desist. He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. Proverbs 20:19

2. Your tongue can either destroy a house or bless a house. Gossip destroys but prayer blesses. It’s amazing that James says that a tongue of a gossiper is a flame that destroys but the book of Acts records the disciples on one accord praying and flames of fire appear over the heads of those praying and they begin to speak in tongues. When you’re praying the fire is on you. When you’re gossiping the fire is destructive coming out of your mouth. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

3. Don’t start anymore fires today! When somebody brings you gossip today cut it off! When you feel compelled to share some juicy gossip cut it off! You know it’s gossip when it starts out …”They say…” who in the hell is “They?!” They are from hell and so is gossip! He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23

Dear God,

Today I want my tongue to be used to put out fire and bless your house. Today I will use my tongue to build up people and not tear them down. Today I’m cutting people off in the middle of their sentence to prevent a fire from spreading. We are committing to 40 days of prayer free from gossip. You can’t gossip and pray! Remove the smoke of gossip out of the walls of our churches and our homes. Put a barrier up to prevent any more damage from petty people and messy messengers.

In Jesus’ Name!