One of the good things that I’ve seen come out of Hurricane Harvey is the way so many have bonded together to support, uplift, and care for the victims of this historic disaster. Our empathy for this great tragedy has brought us closer together as a nation and as the human race.
As time moves forward and the empathy begins to wear off, I hope and pray that we can remember to keep a bridle on our “tongue,” as counseled by the apostle James.
A bridle is the headgear used by a rider to control which way a horse is going. “To bridle,” in the way James uses it here, means to control or restrain. By tongue, he means all words spoken or written.
So the question I pose is whether you control your tongue, or let it run free, unchecked. I know I have been guilty of letting my tongue wag freely, and, amazingly enough, nobody wanted to listen to what I had to say. More recently, I have seen freely wagging tongues on social media. We have all fallen into the trap of letting our emotions control what we say, rather than exercising self-mastery to edit our words before they are published to the world.
Those who seem to have the most influence in these tumultuous days, are those whose true agenda is never revealed. They know how to censor their words so well, that their followers do not believe when the truth finally is revealed.
As Disciples, it is of paramount importance that we set the better example of mastery over our tongues. We should not attack, profane, gossip, boast, or be rash in speaking, we should encourage envying, nor strife. We should study and follow the counsel of James (chapter 3) and speak wisdom from above, which is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
I know that I have work to do to bridle my tongue, will you join me?