I have enjoyed watching my granddaughter, Raigan, ride horses at the local horse farm. Not only is she learning how to care for and ride the horses, she’s also learning some spiritual truths about them from her “Ranny” as well.
One such spiritual truth came a few weeks ago when she learned how to pull on the reins to steer Rain, her horse for the day. Pulling on the reins steers the horse because the bit in the horse’s mouth is fastened to them. As I was watching Raigan maneuver Rain, I was reminded of James 3:3–“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.”
Who says the Bible isn’t TRUTH? This woman is in constant need of turning to God! The banner over me used to be “say it or die”. I had to speak my mind. If I didn’t, I knew I was going to die!! The bit in the horse’s mouth (in the scriptures) is likened to the human tongue. Why? Why would the horse’s bit be likened to the human tongue? The scriptures say this, “Likewise [like the bit], the tongue is a small part of the body, but it make great boasts.” It goes on to say that it is “a fire, a world of evil and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3: 5-6 Boy, can I relate.
In comparison to the total dimensions of a horse, a bit in the mouth appears trivial, yet the horse obeys it. It’s a picture of restrained guidance instead of a fire that is out of control and destroying everything in its path, leaving nothing but ashes in its wake. The wildest stallion can be tamed and broken, but the tongue, now that’s a different story!
As Christ-followers, our unrestrained tongues can burn a hole in folks if we are not Spirit-filled. (Galatians 5:22-23) We have all had times where we’ve uttered a few regretful words, haven’t we? Words full of deadly poison. We chomp at the bit trying to hold our tongues, but somehow…we just can’t quite control it. We use our tongues to both bless and curse. How can we restrain our tongues from wreaking havoc?
Consider these scriptures:
- Ask God to silence your lying tongue–Psalm 12:2
- Ask God to silence your braggart tongue–Psalm 12:3
- Ask God to give you a tongue that speaks wisdom–Psalm 37:30
- Ask God to make you aware of how you sin with your tongue–Psalm 39:1
- Remember that the mouth speaks what is in the heart–Matthew 12:34
- Use your mouth to speak the mystery of the Gospel–Ephesians 6:19
Dear one, stop and think before you speak. Be quick to hear but slow to speak. In doing so, you can stop chomping at the bit and allow the Spirit of God to rule and reign. Let the Word of God be the bit in your mouth and trade beauty for ashes.
First Look: Do any of the above scriptures grip you in a particular way?
Through The Looking Glass: What can you do today to help you be slow to speak? Write a prayer to God confessing your sins of the tongue, ask His forgiveness and receive it in Jesus’ Name.