“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.” (James 3:3)
Having grown up on a farm, the picture James created was a very familiar one. It prompts a question: when are bits put in the horses’ mouth? This was an answer I knew. Bits go in place before the necessity of use. Like most farm boys, my youth encouraged me to venture upon the horse without the bit and bridle. The experience taught the necessity. Training of the tongue teaches the same lesson—amplified.
We are informed that man has tamed all type of beasts, including serpents, to serve appointed ends. “But the tongue can no man tame,” James acknowledges. A fire; an unruly evil; deadly poison; a world of iniquity; defiler of the whole body; a reflector of the very fires of hell itself.
What if God’s Word had conversational bits that could be put upon the mouth before there was a need? Can we discover these bits? Is there a process to implement the restraining benefits of these bits?
What is the potential payoff? “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle [control] the whole body.” James 3:2.
- Tim Yarbrough
Tim Yarbrough (b. 1957) has been married to Deborah since 1977 and has three children: Erick (b. 1978) married Cheryl and they have two daughters: Aliyah Rose (15) and Chloe Diane (12); Emily (b. 1979) married Keith Lacy and they have two sons: Brantston (14) and Tristen (12); Ernie (1981) married Myra and they have two sons and a daughter: Ridley McCheynne (7); Cameron Tyndale (4); and Nora Evangeline (1). His family has attended the Trinity Free Presbyterian Church since 1993 and was one of its founding member families. He has served as an elder since the organization of the congregation.