In the third chapter of James, the bible compares the tongue to a bit in the mouth of a horse or to the rudder on a large ship. (James 3:3-12) In both cases, the bit and the rudder are a very small piece when you consider their physical size. Yet they are used to control a powerful force. When used properly, both the horse and the ship can be used to do amazing things. Our tongues are no different. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue.
James chapter 3 continues by referring to the tongue as a restless evil, full of deadly poison that no human can tame. What can we do if the thing that determines the direction of our lives is evil, poisonous and cannot be tamed?
Consider the bit in the mouth of the horse, and the rudder of the large ship. Do either of these things actually have control over the actions of the ship or the horse? Does the rudder plan it’s own destination? Does the bit in the mouth of the horse decide which path to take? No! Control belongs to who is behind the rudder and the bit. In both cases, control is held by the person that is at the helm, or that is holding the reins to the bit in the horse’s mouth. However, if the person at the helm or holding the reins lets go, both the ship and the horse will become very dangerous.
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It is no different with our tongues. The tongue itself holds no power, it is who we allow to control it that determines its power. Luke 4:45 says; “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” The question is actually more than just, “How do I control my tongue?” It becomes, “How do I guard my heart?”
The heart is influenced by what is entering it. Example: Think of your eyes and ears as the inputs for your life, your brain is the processor, the heart is the hard-drive, and the tongue is the projector. At the end of the day, what you are going to project comes from your hard-drive (heart), and what is on your heart is what you have decided to input through your eyes and ears.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. What music and influences am I listening to in my life?
2. What movies, videos and TV shows am I watching?
3. Where and with whom am I spending my time?
Have you ever heard the old saying, “garbage in garbage out“? That’s pretty much exactly how it works!
The bible doesn’t say that the devil makes your tongue a restless evil; it simply is evil by nature. Which means the devil is not just sitting behind you pleading with you to give him control of your heart; he is simply making sure that evil is in front of you to see and to hear. The tongue may hold the power to determine the direction of our lives, but, if we guard our hearts by choosing wisely what we are listening to and watching, our tongues will follow and our course will be set on a positive and Godly future.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
– Proverbs 4:23