Stoke it or stifle it

I’m not a big time camper, but I’ve had my share of outdoor experiences. One of the best parts of camping is starting a fire. Building a fire always requires a lot of your attention.

You don’t just pile up some wood and throw a match on it. There’s more to it. You have to carefully place the kindling so it can take a spark. Then you have keep feeding it. You have to make sure it has oxygen and more wood. You have to stoke it, or it will die out.

I was thinking how being offended is very similar to starting a fire. Every offensive act is like a spark. Your heart is the kindling. If it is dry or dead wood, it ignites easily. You may not have started it, but you are the one that has to make sure it grows.

The longer you hold on to the thoughts of the offense, the more you allow yourself to get angrier. Maybe you didn’t start the fire, but you are stoking the fire. Pretty soon, you are fuming!!

This is how it always works. Someone’s off handed remark begins to twist and turn in your mind. You jump to all kinds of conclusions about how evil or spiteful this person really is. All you are doing is adding more wood to the fire. You keep stoking it, and soon it grows to be a raging fire that consumes you.

Or…you can stop adding fuel to the fire. You can decide to forgive and let it go! It seems counter to everything in you, but it’s actually Biblical.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

You may not have been the one who started the fire, but you can be the one to put it out.

It’s your choice.

Stoke it or Stifle it!

5 thoughts on “Stoke it or stifle it

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