An entire case of hot sauce had been sitting in my closet since I returned from the trade show. 

When I worked in marketing, I had to come up with clever themes and tie-ins for clients. One time, I’d been showcasing “The Hottest Hoist in the Industry”… I never said my job was glamorous. One of our giveaways was a bottle of hot sauce with the label echoing the theme. Now 12 left-over bottles were waiting for me to get creative and find recipes that would sizzle.

Is it just me or have you ever had one of those days that just blind-sides you? We had just come from an amazing service at church. Our prayer circle had been so in tune with God it was as if we touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. To top it off, the ride home was dotted with white clouds on a brilliant blue sky.

Somewhere along the way we allowed Satan to hitch a ride with us. Our conversation began to turn negative and before we knew it we were spiraling out of control. We both said things to each other that came from that ugly, unclean place that lurks in the shadows of our sin nature. We have a name for this behavior… it’s called “going in the ditch.” That is when one of us starts veering the conversation toward the edge and the other just plows on into the ditch.

Our minds, hearts, and tongues were just not nice to one another. We weren’t alone. Isaiah, a giant in the Lord’s army, also struggled with this malady. When God wanted to use him in a big way, Isaiah realized he was absolutely not worthy because of his unclean lips. So the Lord sent seraphs to touch his mouth with a live coal from the altar and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is atoned for.” Ouch! Radical stuff! Sometimes that is just what we need to realize our guilt and then understand that Jesus paid the price for our sin.

I pulled the hot sauce out of the closet and thought, “Ok, I’ve found a use for you!” Every time my mouth or tongue gets the best of me I put a drop on the end of my tongue as a symbol of the live coal from the altar. Ouch! Radical! It is a red hot reminder to get control of my unclean lips and remember the sacrifice that was made for me.

Jesus, take control of my unclean mouth today. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Luann Prater

Executive Director and Founder of
Encouragement Café Ministries
Speaker, Author & Radio Personality