Tanara McCauley

Culturally Imagined Stories

Tongue on Fire


My son hovered over the boneless, tasty looking mango-habanero chicken wings with a gleam in his eye.

“Don’t touch ’em son,” I told him. “They’re too spicy. We saved you the others.”

He grabbed his wings, satisfied enough, but greedily licked the sauce from a finger that had grazed the forbidden ones. The small taste set his heart on a new course.

“Not too spicy,” he said, pulling up a chair to devour the leftovers his dad and I had doggy-bagged from our lunch out.

Sure enough, minutes after he’d finished the food he could eat (and when he thought I wasn’t looking), he grabbed one of the boneless wings and took a generous bite.

He put it down when he saw me staring, a sly “you caught me” smirk on him. Ten seconds in, that little eight-year-old head lost its smile, bugged its eyes, and hung its mouth in search of anything to cool its flaming tongue.

“What?” he asked me, trying miserably to save face. “It’s not spicy. It just tastes weird.”

Yeah, that’s why your words are coming out like you’re in desperate need of an oxygen mask.

He picked up a cup of water and tossed it back. A whole sip. For a second I thought he would take to chewing just to get water from the cup’s pores.

Saving face no longer a priority, he hustled his little self over to the water dispenser. No time to fill up. Just enough water. Toss it in. Slosh it around. Swallow. Repeat.

Like any mother worth her salt, I watched.

Punishment? If his tongue could speak for itself I think it’d say justice has been more than served.  No need for “I told you so.”

He learned his lesson. We can too.

As Christians we often encounter things God’s word clearly says “no” to. We don’t see the harm in it so we forge ahead in disobedience. We even go so far as to give Him our justifications.

And because we choose to ignore His instruction, we learn the hard way through experience.

Sin, no matter how sweet in the beginning, will burn the tongue that tastes it in the aftermath.

With wisdom we learn to skip the scorching, and feast instead on the blessings God freely gives us.

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

9 responses to “Tongue on Fire”

  1. Loved your analogy! We often step out in disobedience and don’t want to acknowledge it. Thankfully the Lord forgives and gives us a second chance. Be blessed today and bless someone else!


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