PLAYING WITH FIRE Highlights the Need to Truly Understand James 3:5

PLAYING WITH FIRE Highlights the Need to Truly Understand James 3:5

By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor

Parents often tell their children, “Don’t play with fire,” and for good reason! If you play with fire, you will get burned. Chances are, children are not ready for the consequences.

Though this phrase is often a metaphor, it takes a literal meaning in PLAYING WITH FIRE.

In the new Paramount Pictures movie, four firemen rescue three children from a blaze in the woods. When the children are in the firemen’s care, the typically macho men realize they are not prepared to entertain or protect the youngsters in their care. However, these fierce fighters come to realize that the greatest joy in life doesn’t stem from their careers, but from time at home with their families.

Take Superintendent Jake Carson as a prime character study. Wrestling’s John Cena takes on the role of the alpha dog of the firemen and is a picture of honor. Cena plays the family-friendly role with heart and humor.


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@JohnCena sat down with some REAL LIFE firefighters to talk #PlayingWithFireMovie! 🚒 Thanks, @FDNY!

A post shared by Playing With Fire (@playingwithfire) on

Carson finds that although he’s more than capable of handling a real-life fire, he’s extinguished all emotions from his wheelhouse. Carson’s hardened heart means he’s naïve to some social cues and cannot cry.

Carson faces significant challenges in caring for the children for this reason.

The oldest child, a teenager named Brynn, has some major sass that rub Carson the wrong way. She often blurts out her blunt thoughts, regardless of those around her, especially Carson.

These scenes of dialogue might appropriately remind Christian audiences of the book of James when the author compares the tongue to a fire (James 3:5 NIV).

Yet, underneath all the surface wounds that occur in the movie, the most touching moments are when the fires of anger or bitterness die down because tenderness extinguishes the flame.


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Don’t let his look fool you, he’s VERY excited about our movie coming out this weekend!!! #playingwithfiremovie @johncena

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A colloquial saying goes, “You want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”

In the movie, Carson learns this the hard way. He must decide between choosing his career or his newfound family with the same children who wrecked his plans.

Perhaps, this will make viewers reflect on their own families and how unexpected circumstances have  brought you and others closer.

PLAYING WITH FIRE does have a few cautions so please, read the full review here.

Think: As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays draw near, use this time to think of how you can overcome family tension to lean into showing the love of Jesus.

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