(Proverbs 10:18-21, 31-32;
12:13-14, 18-19, 22-23;
15:1-2, 4, 7, 23, 28;
16:21, 23-24, 27-28;
17:4, 9, 14, 19-20, 27-28;
18:6-8, 13, 20-21;
25:11, 15, 23;
26:2, 20-22, 28;
Dressage Horse Sporting a Full Bridle
“Bridle your tongue,” said the old-time schoolmaster to a mouthy and unruly student. What did he mean?
The Bible often speaks of the tongue metaphorically, comparing this small body part to a wild beast (such as a horse) that must be tamed. Throughout the book of Proverbs, instructions for godly speech abound. Today’s Scripture readings focus wholly upon verbal communication, both good and bad.
How does a bridle work?
Being an avid equestrian and horse lover, I have tried many different bridles and bits over the years. Basically, a bridle is an assembly of equine tack, which is placed on a horse’s head for training and work. Usually constructed of leather, the bridle includes a metal bit, which is placed in the horse’s mouth. The bit has rings on both ends, which are fastened to a pair of reins.
Mounted on the horse, the rider controls the horse by employing his or her seat, legs and hands (with the reins).
Generally speaking, a tamer and more docile horse will need very little interference in his mouth, while a more rebellious or untamed horse may require a lot more hardware to gain and keep his attention and compliance.
What about the tongue?
Occasionally, a horse may slip his or her tongue over the bit. If this happens, the rider may be in jeopardy of losing control of the horse and headed for a fall.
What sorts of peril may we face, if we lose control of our own tongues? And what level of control may be needed to bridle our own tongues?
On the other hand, even as a compliant horse may be lovely to behold, how might a Spirit-controlled tongue offer beauty to all those around?
“Kind words are like honey –
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
“Timely advice is lovely,
like golden apples in a silver basket.”
What a convicting set of Proverbs today.
Although many of us may try to rationalize our lives, claiming we are not murderers, adulterers or other evildoers, do we speak truth? What sort of harm might we do with our tongues?
It seems amazingly easy to speak careless, coarse or costly words without thinking. Perhaps we think we are kidding or that casually spoken words don’t count. Maybe we grow frustrated or impatient and utter dangerous phrasings. For whatever reason, we may be tempted to unbridle our tongues. What does it take for the Lord to teach us to honor Him with our words?
Ouch. This feels like preaching to the mirror.
How I need the Lord’s mercy and grace every day. Praise the Lord that He never ceases to call and recall me back to His heart. His Word never changes. May He guide my words today.
Will you pray with me?
Your Word is love.
Your Word is truth.
Your Word endures forever.
Guide our speech.
Remind us to hold our tongues
When we ought not to speak.
Nudge us to speak up
When You lead us to do so.
May our words bless
And not curse,
And not tear down.
We long to glorify You.
Steer us to holiness.