“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly,” Proverbs 26:22.
We begin this week’s devotional studies with the little member that can do tremendous harm or good—the tongue. The tongue is powerful, and it must be bridled or controlled (James 1:26).
The Bible compares the tongue to a strong and powerful horse. The horse can be controlled by a person one quarter its size by placing a small metal bit in its mouth. The bit is connected to the bridle then to the reigns. As it puts pressure on the horse’s tongue, it gets the horse’s attention. It learns the cues and the pressure and will yield to it.
The tongue at times seems to have a mind of its own, especially when something foreign is in the mouth; for instance, new dental work. It will push against it until the tongue is raw and sore unless one involves it in another activity. The same is true for using the tongue as an instrument of speech.
Unless we control the tongue, it can do harm. The same tongue can speak kind, encouraging words and the truth, or lies , hate-filled or harmful words. The tongue must be bridled by a Spirit-filled mind. If one’s tongue is allowed to be used by Satan, the tongue can run people away from Christ or if controlled by God, it can encourage them to seek Him.
Our study in James gives us practical instructions for Christian living. We need to read this small New Testament book regularly, so that we do not forget.