Are You a Firestarter?


October 23





Imagine you walked into a restaurant, and you saw smoke coming from the kitchen. People don’t seem to be bothered by it. They just go about their business. You think this isn’t right, so you walk through the doors and see that there is a group of people around a fire.


“What are you doing?” you ask. “We’re trying to manage this fire.”


“Don’t you mean, put out this fire?”


“No, we’re just trying to manage it. A little fire won’t be that bad.


That story is silly and made up. But It’s kind of what we do with our negative behavior--especially criticizing others.


Look at what Paul writes in Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”


Paul says to get rid of – eliminate all bitterness, rage, anger, fighting, and slander or as the Greek says blasphemia, or slander. We aren’t supposed only to manage and contain our criticism or defamation of someone. We are to eliminate it.


How is this possible? The gospel. The gospel says you have no power to stop the behavior. But the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to you, can. You are no longer a slave to sin of any kind. Therefore, humble yourself, repent of your behavior, and ask God to eliminate the criticism today.



Text in Context: Read Ephesians 4:17-32


Reflect: How does a person’s thinking impact their behavior? Why does a person’s beliefs (their heart) ultimately drive behavior? What does one’s belief have to do with the ability to put off and put on?


Respond: Chances are someone criticized you and you’ve been critical of someone else. Have you forgiven for being criticized? Have you apologized and sought forgiveness for your criticism? If not, begin today. 


Prayer: Father, thank you for desiring the best for me. Thank you for not criticizing me, but instead coaching me through your loving Word. Help me to live by it! Amen.

~ Pastor Nat Crawford


If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us! Or share this post with your friends and family, here is the link:

Thank u lord help me over come all negativity from me father o need ur help hear and answer me father amen
Thank you Father in the name of Jesus for answering my prayer thru this daily devotional.
Fill me with your love Jesus.
God I repent of the sins Paul describes in Ephesians 4:31. Forgive me, please. May the Holy Spirit eliminate these behaviours from me completely. In the most holy name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Only God knows how much I have been critical of others and how much I have slandered my very friends, and for that I ask the Lord to forgive me.
"Bitterness can't help but contaminate everyone and everything it touches." Dr. David Jeremiah
Dear Lord, we live in a fallen world, thank you for not criticizing me, Help me to live the way you want me to live by having a loving heart.
This is so true about us of criticize each other, without realizing it, we should ask for forgiveness.
Pray and ask God's wisdom and the Holy Spirit's guidance. "Now these people were more noble and open-minded than those in Thessalonica, so they received the message [of salvation through faith in the Christ] with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11 AMP
Heavenly Father, please take away all the desire to sin and go against Your will. Give me Your Holy Spirit, Lord, so I am no longer a slave to sin. I repent for all sin I have done and ask for Your Mercy and forgiveness. I thank You Lord, and I pray in Your Son, Jesus Christ name, Amen.
The Lord is working on me in this department... Lord keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth
He exists everywhere ! Believe
Lord help me spend more time with you!!
Lord please help me
Thank you for reminding me that I need to be an example of Christ.
Thank you, we are warriors, in Jesus Christ. "Amen"
I needed this reminder today, it's so easy to stumble. Lord, strengthen my resolve, forgive, help and empower me to eliminate all criticism and to walk humbly with You. Thank You for loving and guiding me along the right path.
I wanna talk to my pastor about you first. Because of all these false teachers I have my pastor examine it before I study it
I really appreciate the help and give God thanks for your ministry
Lord, forgive my attitude when I am critical of others. Replace my negative spirit with your Holy Spirit. You are good and your mercy endures forever.
Thank you Jesus for showing me my faults
Thanks pastor Nat
Only God can change your heart. Only your heart can change your love. Only through the Holy Spirit can you love Jesus. Only Jesus can save your soul. Therefore come Jesus and send us your Spirit so we may love you, trust you, obey you and glorify your name today. Amen
Truth...Amen, by the grace and help of God.
Dear God thank you for guiding me and not being critical of me. I criticize myself enough. I need to have a better deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit so that I can learn to be filled with his Peace. Please help me.
Very valuable. I have work to do on myself so I ask for God forgiveness when I fall and please help me to put away all of my bitterness towards others in the name of Jesus Christ Amen Love you Lord!!!