Daily Devotional Saturday 28th November

by William Moody

James 3:1–4

Taming the Tongue

3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.


As James encourages caution about being a teacher (v1), he is returning to his previous guidance about how it is important to be slow to speak (1 v19). Teachers will be judged more severely because their words will have tremendous influence on the path others take in life. The reality though is that while we may never lead a class in our daily lives we are all teachers.

Controlling the tongue James teaches will mean our whole lives being controlled (v2). A tongue is the most powerful and influential part of the body. James uses the example of the control of a small bit in a horse’s mouth (v3) and a small rudder on a ship (v4) to get across how a little tongue controls the path we take in life.

Are you controlled in your use of your tongue? Are you thoughtful and do you exercise wisdom before you speak? For every word you speak are there many other words you choose wisely not to share? Pray about your use of your tongue and pray for forgiveness where you have used your tongue sinfully.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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