If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (James 1:26).
A bridle is a headgear for a horse, and includes a headstall, reins and bit, to give the horse rider control over the direction and speed of the horse. When you put that bit in the horse’s mouth, you direct, and he follows you confidently. When the Scriptures admonish us to bridle the tongue, it means to control your tongue.
In James 3:5-6 the Bible says that the tongue can defile the whole body and set on fire the course of nature. The word translated “defile” means to render inoperative or useless. It means to corrupt the body in such a way that it can’t carry out its function. Your tongue can rob your body of its effectiveness; that’s why it must be tamed. Also, the tongue can set on fire the course of nature; that means the wheel of life; the course of your life. God has set every one of us on the right course for life; for His good purpose, for His will, and for His glory.
However, you must be careful not to destroy that course with your tongue; it’s up to you. You’re the one to keep yourself in the course that God has set for you by cultivating a wholesome tongue. There’re things you should say, and there’re things you shouldn’t say. Uttering such words as “I’m broke; the economy is so hard, nothing seems to be working” or “this headache is so severe, in fact, it’s killing me”; is misusing your tongue. Such words are inconsistent with the Word of God, so never utter them. Rather, make confessions of the Word. You should rather say, “I’m prospering in all things; the health and strength of God are manifested in me!”
Your tongue was given to you principally to chart your future and shape your destiny. So bridle your tongue and speak in line with the Word. Even when you joke, don’t joke against the Word. Where you are today in life is a reflection of what you’ve been saying all your life. Create the future you desire! Speak words that are consistent with the glorious life of righteousness, peace, health, wealth and joy that God has made available to you in Christ Jesus.
The words that I speak are spirit and life; they’re operative, potent and effectual, charting the course of my life in the direction of God’s divine purpose and destiny for me in peace, joy, fulfilment, health, success and prosperity. Glory to God!
Further Study/Reading: James 3:2; Psalm 50:23; Matthew 12:36-37