Sometimes it’s best to let the fire go out

Where there’s no wood, the fire goes out — Proverbs 26:20

This proverb continues to show an important principle and source of wisdom daily.

I remember when the Lord first alerted me to the truth and wisdom found in those nine words. As we raised four sons, there were many opportunities for the brothers to ‘bug’ one another. They usually got along well, but there were times when they didn’t, and it became evident they knew and would do the things that bothered their siblings.

The boys were familiar with wood and fires as we heated our home with a wood-burning fireplace and camped often, roasting marshmallows and eating smores.

The principle is simple. You put wood on the fire to keep it burning. If you don’t add wood, the fire goes out. As I said earlier, there were occasional ‘fires’ of conflict and irritation between the boys... one day this verse came to mind as I was dealing with a problem and said, “Don’t throw wood on the fire.” What? Don’t continue to do what you know ‘bugs your brother,’ let the fire go out! They ‘got it.’”

From that time on, this proverb became an often-used reminder that helped all of us in our relationships with others.

Be mindful of which fires you want to keep burning and which should not.

Louie J. Locke is the pastor of Fountainhead Foursquare Church.


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