James 3:1-12 – Bridling the Tongue

It is not difficult to sin in our speech. If we could just muzzle our mouth and tame our tongue, everything else would seem simple by comparison. By using the word “bridle,” James looks back to 1:26. Perhaps he remembered the counsel of David who wrote in Psalm 39:1, “I will guard my ways, that I sin not with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle.” Solomon adds in Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.”

Only the spiritually mature can control their tongue. It is an unmistakable evidence of God’s work of grace in their life. It is also one of the ways our maturity is measured against the standard of our Master. First Peter 2:21-23 reminds us, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 69 ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth;’ who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

When you go to your doctor, one of the first things he examines is your tongue. It tells him a lot about your physical condition. If it is coated, you probably have a fever. If it is yellowish, your digestive system may be out of sorts. By looking at your tongue, a doctor can tell a great deal about your physical condition. Similarly, by a tongue examination, we learn quite a bit about a person’s spiritual condition as well. Justin Martyr, Church Father and Apologist, wrote, “By examining the tongue of a patient, physicians find out the diseases of the body; philosophers find out the diseases of the mind; Christians find out the diseases of the soul.”

Daniel Akin

Read James 3:1-12 and consider what your tongue says about the spiritual health of your heart. If the tongue is so difficult to tame with the Spirit’s intervention, what are you doing to actively lean into the Spirit’s power to work in your life? 

Take My Life by Frances Havergal
Posted on: May 14, 2020 - 10:00PM

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