The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




The Rein And Rudder

"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and driven by strong winds, they are steered by a small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go" (Jas.3:3-4).

James begins chapter three (3) with talk about those who would be teachers. Since words are a teacher's tools, he begins his admonition on speech with a warning. "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (Vs.1). It kind of gives one second thoughts before becoming a teacher, doesn't it... James knew that a poorly prepared teacher, through his words, can do more damage than good. In order to counteract the tendency to dismiss mere words as being of little consequence compared to deeds or works, James goes on to talk about one's speech. In doing so, he uses the tongue to represent what a person says. James presumes, and rightly so, that a person who can control his tongue should be able to control his or her own body... Because the tongue is so small when compared to other important parts of the body, no one should suppose that words are ineffective. There is a saying out there that folks have used as far back as I can remember that says, talk is cheap... Is it? In today's 2 verses, James uses the examples of relatively small things controlling bigger things, vis-a-vis the bridle of a horse and the rudder of a ship. A person riding a very large horse can control its movement through the use of a small bit placed in its mouth. Likewise, a comparatively small rudder can be used by a pilot to steer a very large ship. The tongue, like the rudder or rein, is small by comparison to the body, but it effects are enormous.... I believe it is why James puts such a responsibility upon those that would teach others about the Lord. There is a premium on being able to choose the proper words when it comes to teaching... Though the tongue is small, its effect is gigantic....

Have a wonderful day.... Do good and give God the credit.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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