Tag Archives: Meditation

Stay On The Path

James 4:8-10 KJV

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

This is a simple statement at the beginning of verse 8.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!  Easy, right?   Sure it is, if you have followed instructions to this pint, and if you do what James says in the rest of our scripture selection today.  We have become a church that just thinks e can take  scripture and make it ours without really doing what the word says.  In this case, many people probably do draw nearer to God and sense His presence closer to them without a lot of devotion, but the joy and peace found in drawing near to Him when we have done what He asks of us is unfathomable.  I know the difference because I have been on both ends of the spectrum.

Having God draw close to us, real close, is a result of the previous verses, not something we can just conjure up and think it will work. I can try drawing close to God when I’m full of pride and unsubmissive and still walking in the devil’s ways and it will be unlikely that he will draw very close to me with all of that going on in my life. I will sense ore of His presence because of His mercy, but He has so much more for us.  It’s not that God doesn’t want to be close to us.  It’s just that He can’t be in the presence of sin. So if I want God to be close to me I need to rid myself of those things that are repulsive to him.  Remember when He was looking for Adam in the garden (Gen 3)?  He comes looking for us as well!

We have spent time on the previous verses, so now let’s look at what follows in the rest of verses 8-10.  They really give us a picture of what God desires before we should expect Him to draw near to us.

First we need to cleanse our hands. What this means to me is that we need to put away deeds and acts that are contrary to God’s word. There was a certain ceremonial cleansing that the priest had to go through in order to offer the sacrifices upon the altar (Lev 21). There was also a bronze laver of water near the altar that they had to use in between each sacrifice. It was a constant cleansing of the hands to make sure their hands were pure when offering the sacrifices.  God still wants us to have clean hands just as He wanted the priest to have clean hands in the Old Testament.  This was not a one time thing – it went on continually.

Next we need to purify our hearts. We have talked about the double-minded man before. This is one that goes in between purity and sin on a regular basis. When we talked about the double-minded man before it was one that wavered in his faith – one minute he believed and the next minute didn’t. God desires that our hearts are pure meaning they are free from the defilements of world and the desire of the world.  He does not need lukewarm Christians – in fact He will spew them out of His mouth (Rev 3:16).

Then James says we need to be afflicted, mourning and weeping. He is talking about being broken over our sin. How often do I come to the point that I am really broken before Him and truly repent. I have been through that process only a few times in my life. There are countless times that I have prayed God will forgive my sins and there are many times that I have repented, or at least I thought I repented.  Then I find myself dong the same things again, and realize I have not turned my back on that sin.  But they’re only a few times that I was broken before God and laid myself on the altar as a sacrifice for Him to do anything He pleased. When I come to that point I will know it. It’s a much deeper sense of remorse then I really want to feel. At that time it seems Joy is gone and is replaced with a heaviness and I question whether God can love me at all. We see this brokenness often in the Psalms. And when we sin this should be our state.

And then James brings up once more something we have brought up over and over again.  We must humble ourselves in God’s sight. That means to me that He can see an outpouring of humility on our part. Pride has gone away and we are now submissive to whatever He asks and will not try to follow our own will into sin again. This is when God will lift us up. This is when God will remove the heaviness and bring the joy back in. This is when God will remove the mourning and bring our laughter back.

Let’s go back to verse 8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to us. I know that I want to be closer to God all the time. There’s an old saying that says if I don’t feel close to God I need to look at myself because He didn’t move. He is always been right there waiting to hold me and lift me up. But perhaps I have wondered.  In the Old Testament the Israelites are told not to turn to the left hand or to the right (Joshua 1:, 23:6).  I always picture a ridge that I once climbed years ago. It’s in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire between Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln. I remember it as being about 20 feet wide and then a steep incline going down on both sides. I think of that place when I think of turning to the left of the right. It is a dangerous place to get off the path towards God. But if we go straight ahead we can reach the peak and draw near to him.  When we wander off it can be a tough climb to get back on the path.

Are you on the path this morning?  Are you drawing  closer to God, or have you stepped off to the left or right?  My prayer for you is that you find your way back onto the path and are drawing closer each day.  The blessing that comes from God truly drawing near to you is incredible.  Don’t miss out by being satisfied with just a sense of His presence.  Keep drawing closer!

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Resist Your Pride

James 4:6 KJV

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

After telling us to have joy in temptation,  to let patience work in us  to perfect us  to show our works so people will see our faith, to control our tongues and to use Godly wisdom, James tells us He gives more grace.

Grace to cover all our mistakes.

Grace to pardon all our sins

Grace to forgive every unprofitable word  spoken.

Grace to make us right in Gods eyes.

This grace is extended to us when we humble ourselves before Him.  This humility comes from a heart that is broken over our sin.  A heart that weeps with every misspoken word.  A heart that hurts deeply with every complaint we utter,  every hurtful thing we do, every regret.  Humility comes through repentance.  Humility is so necessary.

Most of us try to avoid humility.  We prefer to say “I’m sorry” rather than “Will you please forgive me?” We prefer to text someone rather than make things right face to face. We prefer the easy way out. The way that will not damage our ego.  The way that won’t humiliate us.  The way of pride.  We will do almost anything to escape having our pride hurt, but that is exactly what we need the most.

God’s desire  is to rid us of our pride.  He hates pride (Prov 6:16-19).  So He uses all the means He can to put us into situations where our pride must be put down.  That is a lot of what thefursf 3 chapters are all about. Joy in temptation because in temptation we have to turn to Him for strength, this putting down our pride in our own strength.  Learning patience because pride wants to be in control.  Being a doer of the word and not just a hearer because pride wants to speak and do it’s own thing. Treating all as equals because pride wants to judge. Showing our faith by silent works because pride wants to boast. Speaking only Godly wisdom because pride wants to know it all.  Controlling our lusts because pride can do what it wants. Do you see how beautifully James has crafted this letter to reach this verse?

God resists the proud. There is nothing said in scripture that God wil not hear the prayer of the prideful or that He will not show mercy on the prideful.  It simply says He hates pride and that He resists the prideful. That word resists is very interesting.  It means to set oneself against in battle in a specific way in order to gain victory.  It means God decides on a specific strategy to battle your pride in whatever way He deems necessary at any given moment.  He uses the circumstances flute to mood and shape you day by day.  That usually means extending mercy and answering prayer in one area while He works on another area!  Can you see how much He loves you

Allow yourself to be humbled.  That is most pleasing to God.  Ask Him to reveal any pride to you so that you will better understand where He has to work, and then let Him do wha has to He done.  Remember that He allows everything for your good because He knows the plans He has for you  and He will hear you when you call (Jer 29:11-13).

Be blessed!

Quit Fighting!

James 4:1-5 KJV

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

James turns the discussion now to disputes between believers. I find it interesting that he uses the words wars and fighting. I believe he’s talking about wars between countries and fighting within the church. Both of these fall under the same category. They are disputes that cause us to be more detached from our brothers and sisters. And James says that these come because of lust.

What are some of the things we lost after? Well there’s power, wealth, fame, possessions, superiority, and many other things. If you look at the recent skirmishes that we’ve had around the world as a country we can see that most of these skirmishes come because we have an enemy out there who wants to destroy us. They are seeking the power and so we must defend ourselves. It isn’t always us that have lusts. There’s not a lot we can do except keeping an enemy at bay when they are trying to defeat us.

What about within the church? James says we lust and we kill and we desire to have but we can’t obtain. That’s because fighting never solved anything. Typically it just makes two people a little bit more upset with each other. The end result is that bitterness comes in and then we’re both worse off than we were before. Typically  fighting comes because I want my way in one thing or another and I’m not willing to concede that I might be wrong. This is pride through and through.

James goes on to say that when we fight and war over these things we don’t receive anything because we don’t ask. How often do we ask God to intercede in a situation before we fly off the handle? It’s a shame that we in the church can’t get along better. If we would simply go to the Lord with our difficulties, and bring those who we are fighting with along with us, this fighting could be stopped at the beginning.

The truth is that often we ask for the victory instead of asking for a compromise or instead of asking that God’s will would be done in the situation. We want our way. We want to be able to consume it on our own ambitions our own lust. We want bragging rights – to be able to say we were right.  Therefore we don’t receive. If we would ask God to do what He would like to do. we will always receive. It may not be the answer that we want but what’s more important – the answer that we want or the answer that God wants?

Interesting that James uses the terms adulterer when talking about those who have friendship with this world. You have to remember the analogy that those of us who are born again in Christ Jesus will be His bride in the days to come. So it is seen as a break of vows when we have friendship with the world. The lust and desires of our heart are for worldly things and therefore we can become enemies of God instead of friends of God.  Remember the first commandment – ye shall have no other gods before Him?  What do you think it is when we place our desires before His?  What is it when our lust is more important than His will.  James calls it adultery

A case in point is the prayer for the sick.  I know as well as you do we have been healed by the stripes of Jesus. I totally believe that. The question is always WHEN God wants to heal us. Now in my own desires I want to be healed now. I want my friends to be healed now. However perhaps God is using a sickness to draw someone closer to Him. If we then pray that God would heal us, or them, now are we not praying against the will of God? That’s why it’s so important that we pray that God will give them strength to endure until the trial is over. This is praying in the will of God.

Let us be sure that we are not after our own gain or our own desires when we are talking about our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us do all we can to follow after God with all of our might and not have our own agenda in mind when we come to Him. And when we have a dispute with our brother let’s look for a way to end that dispute as quick as possible before it turns into a fight. This is well pleasing to God.

Using Godly Wisdom

 James 3:17-18 KJV

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Now that we have distinguished what the wisdom of the world is it’s time to look at the wisdom that is from above. This is the wisdom that we should use in all of our actions and discussions. Remember the wisdom of the world brings strife and envy. And we want no part of that. There’s a long list of characteristics of the wisdom that is from above.  Let’s take each one individually so we can see what God desires as we use this wisdom in our everyday lives.

Wisdom from above is pure. This is the Greek word hagnus and literally means uncontaminated without & within, not mixed with guilt or anything that is condemned. This wisdom is innocent, modest, perfect and clean.  It’s the same word used in Philippians 4:8, listed as one of the things we should be thinking upon. This word was also used by Paul when he exhorted Timothy to stay pure in 1st Timothy 5:22.  This tell us that when we are filled with God’s wisdom, we will speak of His perfect will, and our counsel will be sound and pure.  It will not condemn people or leave them with guilt.  Rather it will compel them to purity and holiness.

And wisdom from above is peaceable. This is the same Greek word e i r e n i k o s.  This signifies a quietness. It literally means peaceful. Hebrews 12 11 says that this kind of peace is the fruit of righteousness (we’ll be looking at this a little bit later).  It is also the same word Jesus used when He said “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt 5:9).  God’s wisdom will lead to peace in our lives and others lives.

The wisdom from above is gentle.  This is the Greek word e p i e k e s. It means fair or moderate. The word is closely associated with meekness. It signifies fulfilling the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law.  God’s wisdom is not harsh.  It encourages people to be fair to each other within the spirit of the la.

The wisdom from above is easy to be entreated. This is the Greek word e u p e i t h e s This word could be translated reasonable ready to obey God or compliant with God.  This is the only place this Greek word is used in the Bible.  God’s wisdom is reasonable and will bring people to a place of obedience to His law.

The wisdom from above is full of Mercy. The word full needs to be filled with just as we would imagine. Mercy here is a Greek word e l e o s. It means compassion. It signifies kindness or goodwill toward the misery of others joined with a desire to relieve them. This word is used quite often throughout the New Testament and is always used in the greetings of Paul in his letters to the various churches.  God’s wisdom is compassionate and seeks to bring people out of their troubles and into His grace.

The wisdom from above it’s full of good fruits. Fruit is the Greek word k a r p o s and means that which originates or comes from something. It is a result.  God’s wisdom produces good things in people, not bad things.

The wisdom from above is without partiality. It is a Greek word a d a i k r i t o s. This is the only place it is used in the Bible. This means it is unwavering and no uncertainty.  God’s wisdom does not change from one person to the next, or one situation to the next.  It is unwavering and consistent at all times.

The wisdom from above is without hypocrisy. This is the Greek word a n u p o k a r i t i o s. It denotes being genuine, sincere, not phony and free from hidden agendas. This Greek word is used in 2 Cor 6:6 and translated genuine, and also in Rom 1:9 and 1 Tim 1:5, where it is translated sincere.  When God’s wisdom is used, you know exactly what is being said, and you know the speaker does not say these things to gain anything or to try and get you to do something.  It speaks from a pure heart.

As you read these words and their meaning, can you see how different God’s wisdom is than the wisdom of the worlds  described previously?  God’s wisdom is always looking out for the hearer and what is best for them.  It is there to perfect us and mold us into His image.  It’s only purpose is to make us more like Christ, who epitomizes every one of these attributes.  There is no envy or strife as there is with the world’s wisdom.

Verse 18 adds on another interesting note.,  There are 5 places in the bible here righteousness is mentioned in association with peace.  here, psalm 85:10, Romans 14:17, Heb 1:11, and Isaiah 32:17.  As we read these other verses, it appears that peace is a result of righteousness in one’s heart and that makes a lot of sense.  When we walk in righteousness, there is no guilt over our sin, or envy about another person.  Our mind’s are pure from evil thoughts, because we are thinking righteous thoughts and doing things that are right.  Peace comes when we walk in righteousness!

This is a powerful ending to the third chapter of James.  After helping is tame our tongues, he brings us to using godly wisdom, which is what should be produced by our tamed tongues.  Let us make sure that this is the wisdom we use in our daily lives.

Quiet Strength

James 3:13-16 KJV

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Who can answer the question in verse 13 with a yes – please raise your hand. Now I’d be surprised if anybody really raise their hands but hopefully each of you think you have enough wisdom and enough knowledge to live a that shows good works carried out in a wise manner. This is what James is saying in this verse. I hope that each person reading this has enough wisdom to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

Let’s look at a couple words in this verse and their meaning. The first word I want to look at is conversation. This word conversation means lifestyle or behavior or conduct. It means the way we carry ourselves in our everyday lives. Not when we go out of our way to do something, but when it becomes natural to us. It’s often translated as conversation in the Old and New Testament. Psalm 37 14, 50-23, 2nd Corinthians 1:12, Ephesians 2:3 and Ephesians 4:22 are just a few examples a places where the word conversation means lifestyle or behavior.
When we come to a realization that God is concerned with our lifestyle at every point of the day, it starts to make a difference in our lives (hopefully).  I see so many so-called Christians who think God is only concerned with the fact that they go to church. pay their tithers, help in the church and don’t kill anybody.  That is why we see the church looking so much like the world in these days in the ares of divorce, adultery, sexual sin, greed, gossip and so many other areas.  And because the church is acting that way, more and more people are abandoning the church.  If we are not different, why bother coming!
Our “conversation” , our lifestyle, should reflect Christ everywhere we go.  People should be able to just look at the way we liver and know that we are Christians.  They should be able to hear they words we say and know we are Christians. if they walk into our house, they should know by what they see and hear that we are Christians.  I have to humbly say that I can;t remember the last time someone asked me if I as a Christian!  They just knew.
The second word is meekness.  This word is often misunderstood. People understand it as a weakness. What the word meekness really means is gentleness or quiet strength. It is one of the fruit of the spirit and is used many times in the New Testament. 2nd Corinthians 10:1, Galatians 6:1, Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:12, and 2nd Timothy 2:25 are all places where the word meekness is used. It is a premier quality in a person. In fact Jesus said blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth (Matt 5:5). Is a quality that I have striven for for all my Christian Life.
Meekness ties into humility.  This quiet strength is a sign that God has our tongue under control.  Jesus was the epitome of meekness.  He did not have to scream for people to know He had the authority to saw the things He said.  His teaching was accepted because He spoke with that meekness, that strength, that only God can give.  Juts because a preacher shouts when preaching, it does not make him a great preacher.  Meekness is what will make a great preacher!  Hebrews says we can come boldly before the throne of God (Heb 4:16).  We should also be bold in our witness for Him, and that takes meekness.
So we can see that James is telling us that we should walk all the time doing good deeds with a quiet reserve the displays wisdom on our part. That is what a Christian should be doing.  We should not be going around with envy and strife in our hearts. That is not from God. That is an earthly, sensual, devilish wisdom and it brings confusion and evil works. What a stark contrast we see here between two very different kind of people.
First of all, envy should not be anywhere to be found in our life.  The word says that the love we should have does not envy (! Cor 13:4-8).  It also says that we should rejoice with people when they rejoice, not be envious of them (Rom 12:15).  If someone gets a blessing, or has been given a promotion ahead of you, or has purchased the new car you were hooping to get, don’t get envious!  Rejoice with them that they have been blessed!
Strife, to me, encompasses many things like gossip, backbiting complaining about other people, being argumentative,  All of these things cause strife in other peoples lives.  It is a prideful characteristic that so many people display in the world, and unfortunately also in the church.  And it is one of the 6 things that God hates – sowing discord among the brethren (Prov 6:16-19).  Do you really want to be involved in anything God hates?
As you examine your life, which of these things would you say is true for you? Do you envy what other people have? Do you envy when somebody receives something special?  Do you sow discord between people whether Christian or not? Or are you building people up with your good works and good words?  Are other able to tell you are a Christian by your actions in everyday life?
If your life is not where it should be in light of this lesson, today is a new beginning.  Allow God to take away those things that are not pleasing to Him, and fill you with the fruit of meekness.  Start to be more observant of the words you use and the actions you take everyday.  You can walk in a conversation worthy of the Lord!

Taming the Tongue

James 3:7-12 KJV

For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

James continues on his quest try to get us to control our tongues by explaining the fact that we have tamed every other animal and yet we still have this tongue wagging about. Now I’m not really sure how many of the animals they had tamed in those days. I have no doubt that lions and tigers ere tamed, and that they had birds tamed such as parrots, which are mentioned during Solomon’s time.  I’m sure there was snake charmers in those days as there are today. I do wonder if by that time they had tamed whales and sharks as we do in SeaWorld’s around the country. But the truth is that we have tamed just about every kind of animal there is.

We have a tough time gaining control of our tongue and making sure that nothing evil comes out of it. Because the tongue can do so much damage as we talked about in our last lesson. It’s poison can infect a young child for the rest of their life. It can break somebody’s heart. The tongue can cause somebody to give up. The tongue can get us arrested. What other member of our body holds as much power as our tongues?
James then says something very interesting to me.  He says that with our tongue we bless God and we curse men who were made after God’s image. This is a tragedy in James’s eyes and it is in my eyes as well. I see many people who call themselves Christians coming to church and praising God one minute and then going home and having the Pastor for lunch the next minute. I hear them praying in their sewing circles and then spreading gossip all around town. I hear them helping with the church dinner and singing in the choir and when they leave church they are backbiting and complaining about their neighbor.
Our mouth should be full of edifying and uplifting words no matter where we are. If we are truly filled with His spirit then what comes out of us should be the voice of God not the voice of the devil.  James has two wonderful analogies in verses 11 and 12.  The first is that a fountain is only going to give one kind of water.  It’s either going to be sweet or it’s going to be bitter. The second is about a fig tree and the fact that it can’t bear olives. Even nature knows that each plant can only produce one thing. Why can’t we get it through our  heads that our tongues should be the same way.
When I was a sinner my tongue was full of cursing and cutting people down. I had a very quick wit and I could cast verbal darts at people faster than they could avoid them. And I didn’t care. When I got saved one of the first things that happened is that I stopped swearing. I mean completely stopped. It went from every other word to none whatsoever. The second thing that happened is that I realized I needed to change my attitude. I started counseling with my pastor after I went back to the church I grew up in and he pointed me to the Norman Vincent Peale book The Power of Positive Thinking. That book changed my life. I started speaking positive things to people instead of negative. The people in my workplace noticed a huge difference in my life. When I left there a couple years later and moved to Iowa my language was much improved. Now there have been times since then that I have fallen back into words that were not positive, especially in my family. But the swearing never came back and the cutting remarks rarely came back. God did a number on my language
I believe God wants to do this for everybody. He desires to have control of our tongue. He desires to have control of the words we say. He does not want us to speak the enemies words to people. He wants us to speak His words. And His words are always edifying and uplifting to the Saints. I referenced to a couple versus in the last session and I’ll reference them again:
Ephesians 4:29 –  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I try to live my life by these two verses because they help me to think about every word that I say.  I am not always successful, but I do say the right thing more often than the wrong.
What is your language like? Are you one who brings uplifting words to everyone you meet? Or you still cursing? Are you still backbiting? Are you still gossiping? Are you still complaining and arguing?. If you are then you certainly shouldn’t be praising God with the same mouth. Get rid of those things out of your life so that blessing will come out of your mouth no matter who you’re in front of or what you are facing in life.  I guarantee you will feel much better about your life if you do!
Be blessed.

Who’s at the Helm?

James 3:3-6 KJV

Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

James uses is a couple of very interesting analogies to talk about taming our tongue. I love the way he weaves these in because he makes it very practical to think about what we need to do in order to bring our tongue under control. I must admit I don’t do very good in that area and I work at it all the time.

The first image to uses is that of a horse. I have ridden a horse only once in my life. It almost bucked me off and then they had me going so fast that for four days I was hurting. I believe that they put a faulty bit in the horse’s mouth to begin with just to have it get riled up. The bit is attached to the reins, which give the horse direction about where you want to go. Without the reins you would have to be a master horseman to have that horse be obedient. and the reins are useless without the bit. From that little bit in their mouth the whole horse can be tamed and told what to do.
The second picture is of a boat. Now back in those days they had pretty small boats. Today we have huge ocean liners that they couldn’t even comprehend in those days. But the truth still remains that the boat is controlled by the helm which is a very small part of the boat that turns the boat one direction or the other.   Without the helm you would not be able to turn the boat. You would be at the mercy of the winds and the waves.
The way he relates this to the tongue is the fact that both of these are very small parts of the overall mechanism that is used to control the horse or the boat. But without these pieces there is no control. If there is no control of the boat and the horse, you are bound for calamity of some  sort.  And if we do not control our tongue it will defile our whole body. Our testimony will be of no effect if our tongue goes off at the slightest thing.  We have a responsibility to take the helm of our lives and control that tongue.  It can hurt others more than anything else can!
The tongue is loudest when pride is the deepest. The tongue boasts quite often about the accomplishments we make. The tongue gossips. The tongue complains. The tongue argues. The tongue deceives. The tongue back bites. The tongue puts people down. All of these things are definitely a manifestation of the heart but they are displayed by the tongue. Remember what Jesus sad about what defiles a man?  He said it’s not what goes into the man, but what comes out that defiles him (Matt 15:11).  These words do not only defile the man that produces them but can kindle a fire that spreads faster and farther than we can imagine.
Proverbs has many verses about the tongue that show how troublesome it can be.  Proverbs 15:4, 15:28, 17:9, 18:21, and 21:23.  There are other verses throughout the bible that take about the benefits and the evils of the tongue.  We would do well to recognize that our tongues can be so hurtful.  I have met so many people who are suffering in their adulthood because of words said to them in their developing years.  Parents need to be so cautious what they say to their children.  The words they hear may scar them for life!
When we are Christians none of these negative things should be evident in our lives. If they are, it ruins our testimony and our witness. Have you ever seen a person who says they’re a Christian and goes around trying to win people to Christ, and then the next time you see them they’re complaining about this, that or the other thing and they’re arguing with people about their beliefs instead of leading them with love? How effective is this person’s witness? I know it was never effective with me before I receive Christ.  If his actions did not follow his words, it was a big turn off!
We must make sure that are tongue is controlled. The world is watching every word we say.   The words of my mouth should come out as edification to those that hear it (Eph 4:29). We are supposed to build one another up not put one another down. We are supposed to think and speak based on Philippians 4:8. If we live that kind of life, the right words will come out and we will be headed in the right direction. Let’s so order our speech that is pleasing to God at every turn.