In selecting the bit and the rudder, the Apostle James presented two items in his epistle that
are small of themselves, yet exercise great power, just like the tongue. A small bit enables the
rider to control the great horse, and a small rudder enables the pilot to steer the huge ship.
The tongue is a small member in the body, and yet it has the power to accomplish great
Both the bit and the rudder must overcome contrary forces.The bit must overcome the wild
nature of the horse, and the rudder must fight the winds and currents that would drive the ship
off its course.
The human tongue also must overcome contrary forces. We have an old nature that wants to
control us and make us sin. There are circumstances around us that would make us say things
we ought not to say. Sin on the inside and pressures on the outside are seeking to get control
of the tongue.
This means that both the bit and the rudder must be under the control of a strong hand. The
expert horseman keeps the mighty power of his steed under control, and the experienced pilot
courageously steers the ship through the storm. When Jesus Christ controls the tongue, then
we need not fear saying the wrong things— or even saying the right things in a wrong way!
Verse for today: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline
not my heart to any evil thing”(Psalm 141:3-4.).
Other Scripture: Job 27:4; Psalm 15:1-3; 139:1-4; Proverbs 15:1-2; Colossians 4:6; James
Alston assignment: Ask God to enable you to put your tongue to good use today.
WARREN W. WIERSBE