Bits and Rudders

James 3:3-5 — 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts (NIV).

Your tongue is the bit or rudder that directs the course of your life. You shape your world with your words. What you say has the ability to propel you down the path toward God’s will or cause you to wander in the wilderness.

You might ask, “How is it that words pack such a powerful punch?” Jesus answered this question in Matthew 12:34: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (NIV). What comes out of your mouth is a direct reflection of what is stored up in your heart. You say what you think, and you think about what you desire. Every time you open your mouth you alter the course of your life.

Those who lie or speak negatively all the time are allowing their tongues to lead them down a path to destruction. On the other hand, speaking God’s word has the ability to restore hope in the midst of tragedy. This principle is true when it comes to how we speak to others as well. Our words either uplift or tear down those who hear them.

I want to encourage you today to speak positively to everyone and in every situation. If you truly desire the purposes of God in your life, your speech will reflect that desire. If you find the tone of your speech to be harsh or angry, perhaps there is a root of bitterness somewhere in your heart.

My mom used to say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’ll say this to you: If you don’t have anything good to say, speak the word of God!

Psalm 35:28 — And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long (NKJV).

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