James 3:3-4: “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.”
I haven’t ridden a horse since Thanksgiving of 2003. I remember it like it was yesterday, even though 17 years have passed. I am not a very good rider, and the people I went with were excellent. They grew up on horses, and I didn’t. Since I was following their lead, they took it easy the first few miles. I guess they got bored because they decided to pick up the pace. The horse I was riding decided it would be good to go faster. Despite my best attempts to reign in this beast, which I thought was my friend, I lost control. I realized at this moment I was just along for the ride. I’m surprised I stayed on the horse and survived.
Had I known how to work the bit in the horse’s mouth, the ride may have been more enjoyable. Bits are super small compared to the size of the horse, but they can exert control over the horse.
Similarly, rudders are also very small yet powerful. They can guide and direct a boat, regardless of its size.
James uses these two word-pictures to show how the tongue has the power to direct our lives.
Our words have consequences.
The words we speak affect the lives of others in ways we can’t imagine.
The words we speak can direct our life towards God or keep us away from Him.
Choose your words wisely.
Some questions to consider:
-How is your tongue directing your life? Towards God or away from Him?
-How can you work with God to better control your language?-Who do you need to apologize to for losing control of your tongue?