Dealing With Our Forty-Second Disasters

forty-second fire

In forty- seconds, we have the ability to ruin lives.

“It burst into flames. It’s burning and it’s crashing. It’s crashing terrible. It’s burning, bursting into flames and it’s falling on the mooring mast. All the folks agree, this is terrible. This is one of the worst catastrophes in the world. It’s burning, oh, four or five hundred feet into the sky. Honest, it’s completely a mast of smoking wreckage,” radio announcer, Herbert Morrison said.

“I’m sorry folks. I’m going to have to go inside where I cannot see it.” Morrison’s voice caught. “This is the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed.”

The Hindenburg Disaster

On the first anniversary of transatlantic flight on May 6, 1937, broadcaster, Herbert Morrison, and sound engineer, Charles Nehlsen were set to record the world’s largest airship landing for WLS Radio. Instead, the eight-hundred and four feet long Hindenburg, only eighty feet shorter than the Titanic, caught fire. With the mooring lines tied to the ground winches, she dropped the remaining two-hundred and ninety-five feet onto the ground in a charred heap.

Although the fatal flaw of the Hindenburg is debated, we know that the highly flammable hydrogen cells that kept the Hindenburg afloat ignited.


In less than forty seconds, the rudder of my ship—my tongue—can spout an ocean of words and create a disaster. James 3:4-6

Hurtful words. Impatient words.hard conversations

Controlling words, laced with obstinance, words create fissures in relationships. Like a disaster, I can’t take back what I’ve spoken. My words affect moods, attitudes, and events. With a negative outcome, remorse fills me, and I’m left to examine the wreckage. Is there a way to repair the hurt I created with my tongue?

How can We repair our fatal flaws?

How can anyone deal with the disasters caused by our wagging tongues? Processing my conversation, I don’t feel qualified to be a Christian. How can I represent Christ when, in a breath, I can create a fracture in a relationship? No one will consider me an authentic Christ follower.

The voice in my head said that my words ruined my testimony. But, it wasn’t God’s speaking to me, but the voice of the devil.

If we want to live so people will see God’s grace and goodness in us, what do we do when this happens?

People Aren’t Perfect

First, acknowledge the imperfection of humans. Second, accept character development as a lifelong journey.

In a day, the average person speaks approximately 16,000.

Although my intention may be only to speak positively that task is too big for me. I fail. My tongue goes up in flames and causes injury to others. How about you?

What to Do When You’re Discouraged with Yourself

Sixteen thousand is a ton of words. Aiming to speak only words that bring joy, hope, light, and love is a monumental task.

I rely on Bible reading, inspirational music, and prayer. listen to inspirational music

Also, God is ready to forgive us. Through His power, we can forgive ourselves. Ask Jesus for grace and then go out and ask forgiveness from the people you’ve hurt.

A Good Daily Practice

Don’t burst into flames—daily ask God to forgive you and to lead you in the right direction.

Rely on repeating the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 NLV, especially that part that says, “forgive us our sins.”

Hopefully, our words won’t be the worst thing others witness. rely on Bible reading

Pray with Me

Dear Lord, I pray your power over our tongues and careless words. Help us speak positive words in every conversation. In thy name and power, we rely. Please forgive us as we fail and help the people in our lives to forgive us too.

Read these Bible verses and ask God to forgive your heart, and your actions past and present.

  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness … 1 John 1:9 KJV.
  • “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 NIV.

Finally, remember to ask God for His power so we can avoid our forty-second disasters.

Terri Kelly

A former teacher turned writer, Terri B. Kelly, is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband plus one sweet pug in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Visit her at or on Facebook.

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