Bridle the Tongue

Posted on: May 12, 2015, by :

When James discusses the tongue in chapter 3 of his letter, he likens it to the rudder of a great ship, a spark that starts a flame, or a bit that leads a horse.   Fascinatingly enough, each of these analogies is a tool that is used to do great work.  They are each small tools, but they are focused on the gaining ground in one way or another. 

How valuable is a rudder when the sails of a ship are filled with wind?

How useful is a bit in the mouth of a thoroughbred horse at the Kentucky derby?

How critical is the spark that starts a fire on a cold night?

The value of each of these rests in the one that is giving them direction.  The person who is consciously activating each of these tools is in the position of direction.  The same is true of the tongue.  It is not that the tongue should be killed, only that the tongue must be used as a tool for the Kingdom rather than a destructive force. 

A fire, a bit, and a rudder can also be used for corrupt gain, for destruction and for the derailment of the things of God, but for the one whose heart has been bought at the price of the blood of Jesus, the ability to direct the tongue for the good of the church is a function of passion.  We must passionately steer the ship, coax the horse, fan a spark into a flame, and speak life into those around us. 

We must be intentional about our speech, and direct our tongue to be the deliverer of life instead of death.
-Without a good navigator, the pilot of a ship wanders aimlessly in the vastness of the ocean
-Without a good trainer, the jockey fights against the horse.
-Without defined boundaries, even the smallest fire can set an entire forest ablaze.
-Without intentional and eternal life that only comes from the Lord, the tongue can spread death to all who hear its words.

But with Jesus, a tongue can be bridled and put to good use spreading the message of hope. 

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:7