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James (W6D2) Under Control

Week 6. Tuesday: Under Control

PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.

READ: James 3:3-4

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

UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words

  • Bits into the mouths of horses: Although a horse is a large animal that can overpower any human, it can be controlled with a small bit. Whichever way we turn the horse’s mouth and head is the way to turn the whole animal. James is using this to illustrate how the tongue can turn our entire lives in a certain direction.

  • Take ships as an example: No matter how large the ship and how strong the winds, a ship can be steered by a very small rudder. In both of these illustrations, James is making the point that the tongue is a small organ that can change the direction of our lives, whether that be a good direction or bad direction.

  • The pilot: It’s important to notice that in both of these examples, there is someone making a choice. With the horse, the owner or trainer is choosing the direction. With the ship, the pilot or captain is choosing the direction. The point here is that we always have a choice with what we say. We cannot blame being careless with words on our personality or anything like that. We have to choose to be wise. Sometimes that means we need to be quiet and listen.

APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?

How do these illustrations apply to everyday life situations?

In what ways do our words set the direction of our lives?

PRAY: Ask God to reveal to you how your words have guided or misguided you.

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