Scripture: James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Characters: Cookie, Boss, and TJ
Plot Cookie, the chuck wagon cook, keeps getting into trouble for talking bad about others, gossip, and complaining. No matter what anyone tries to do to help, Cookie just canít seem to understand how badly others get hurt.
Running Time: just a few minutes
Cookie: Hey TJ, did you hear about Doc? He went and bought a new hat. He always said he would never get rid of that old one. Went through all sorts of trouble with that hat -- wars, hard times, more wars.
TJ: Well Cookie, I donít think getting rid of that hat is all that bad -- it had a peculiar smell.
Cookie: I heard he bought the new one Ďcuz he wants Miss Amy to like him.
Boss: Now Cookie, remember the little talk we had about gossip?
Cookie: Aw, Boss thatís not gossip, I was just telling TJ that Doc is sweet on Miss Amy.
Cookie: Oh, I just canít ever do anything right. I tried loading my grub and dropped half of it on the ground. Then found out TJ here isnĎt going to be helping me with the cookinĎ or the cleaniní up. I just canít seem to please anybody.
Boss: Cookie, all that complaining is not going to do you any good at all.
Cookie: Sure it does, it makes me feel better.
Boss: The Bible says the tongue is like a fire and can consume a man.
Cookie: Well how does it do that?
Boss: It talks all about it over the book of James.
TJ: Yeah, Cookie one day that tongue of yours is going to make you just burn up.
Boss: No, that is not what it means. The Bible is teaching us to learn to control what we say so others can see Jesus in us.
Boss: It is also saying when we say things that are not true, are unkind, or we complain all the time -- it is like a fire that burns out of control and hurts everyone.
Cookie: You know that I donít want to hurt anyone -- especially Doc or Miss Amy.
Boss: I know that Cookie.
Cookie: What else does the Bible say?
Boss: Well it says that we need to say good and kind things about each other because we are made like God.
Cookie: I can do that. Docís new hat does look real nice.
TJ: It smells good too.
Boss: Now thatís what the book of James had in mind all the time.
Cookie: Sure feels better to say nice things too -- makes me feel all warm inside.
Boss: I knew you could do that Cookie and youíve been a good influence on TJ too.
Cookie: Well I like that just fine and I guess thatís why you are the trail boss.