In the traditional sense, riders use a bridle to direct their horse where they want it to go. They use this small but effective tool to control a powerful, 1000-pound animal with ease.
James compares it to the influence we wield with the tongue, one of our smallest muscles: “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things” (James 3:3,5 ESV).
The world overflows with chatter. Sadly, much of it contains meaningless words that will never bear fruit for God’s Kingdom. Let’s look at some numbers: Every single day, humans send more than 276 billion Facebook posts, tweets, texts, and emails. That amounts to 34 messages for every man, woman, and child—eight billion people—on Earth. And that doesn’t include phone calls, dozens of other social media sites, or just plain old talking.
From a positive viewpoint, these platforms give us an extraordinary opportunity to glorify God and uplift others. They afford us unparalleled capability to offer a kind word to those who are hurt-ing, anywhere in the world. They reduce miles of separation from friends and family to a few keystrokes.
Conversely, these technological advancements draw out the absolute worst—dare I say evil—in people. I don’t need to explain my meaning. We’ve all seen it. Or been hurt by it.
Jesus makes it quite clear that we’ll be held accountable for our words. “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37 ESV).
Let us pray to our Heavenly Father that our tongue always imparts blessings and life. “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Prov. 15:4 ESV).
Garriott Road church of Christ