Where Is The Bridle?

This morning I sat down to study one of my favorite books of the bible, “The Book Of James.”  Many times this book has brought clarity to my life in the midst of the darkest of storms. Oh how often I have been reminded that in every circumstance that God is sovereign, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials…” 1:2. James always calls us to remember God has a purpose in our storms.  And that purpose is to bring us to maturity.  Once we are in a place of maturity we realize the storms will bring glory to God as we walk through them by faith.  This is true joy.

However this morning, James taught me something very different.  “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless,” 1:26.   As I read this verse I thought, “Where is my bridle?”

Now, I do not know about you, but this an in your face question in my life.  The fact is, there are moments when I say things that I should not say.  In those moments, I should be asking myself, “Where is the bridle?” James continues this onslaught against me in chapter 3.  “And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body,” 3:2.  

In this verse we are reminded of the key to bridling our tongues.  When we are perfect we can bridle our tongues.  Now I know what you are thinking.  I cannot be perfect.  Certainly you and I will not be perfect in our lives until we meet Jesus.  But the word-perfect here is translated as mature.

The key to bridling our tongue is to be in a place of maturity in Christ.  When we are walking in maturity we are submitted to His leadership.  When this is taking place, our Lord is in control of our minds that in turn controls our tongue.

How does a person know if they are mature in their speaking.  Here is how your speaking will be identified, “The wisdom that is from above will first be pure, then peaceable, and gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere,” 3:17.  Does this sound like you when you are in a moment of struggle with your family?  Does this characterize you at work when relationships are strained?  Are these the things that come out when you have tried for and hour to start the lawnmower or you have tried to put the children to bed?

Brethren no one is perfect, but a mature believer brings every thought into the captivity of Christ who will bridle our tongues and will bring out words that redeem and refresh.  “Dear Lord, at the beginning of a new work week, bring each of us into a place of maturity so that we might give you the bridle for our tongues.”  

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