Wait a minute, What did you just say? PT. 1

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3. Behold, we put bits in the mouths of the horses, for them to obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 

4. Behold, the ships also, being so great, and being driven by violent winds, they are directed by a very small rudder, wherever the one steering wishes. 

5. So also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how a little fire sets ablaze large forests!

James 3:3-5 (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Definition of Bit:

  1. A piece of metal or synthetic material that fits in a horse’s mouth, enabling the rider to prompt or control a horse by placing pressure in and around the mouth.
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tongue image 1

Definition of Rudder:

  1. A primary control surface used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft, or other vehicle that moves through a fluid medium (generally air or water).

According to the teachings of Ya’aqov (aka James, the brother of Yahshua), the tongue holds tremendous importance in our daily lives. In fact, he compares it to a tiny bit that controls even the most stubborn of horses, a small rudder that steers the mightiest of ships, and a little fire that sets an entire forest ablaze. Our tongue is one of the smallest parts of our body, yet it holds the power to paint a picture of who you are to others. Our use of language and the words we choose to speak reveals our heart (Matthew 12:34), level of self-discipline (James 1:19), and the kind of person we are (Proverbs 10:31).

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.

Proverbs 18:21 (AMP)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Upon closer examination, you can see the insightful observation Ya’aqov implies regarding the tongue and its role and impacts on life with his comparison. Seemingly insignificant devices, such as a horse’s bit or a ship’s rudder, can manipulate and direct what it’s attached to. Despite their small size, these devices possess the remarkable ability to exert control over objects that are much larger than themselves, thus highlighting their profound impact and influence. In comparing the tongue to these tiny things that control the whole of what they are connected to, we are forced to think about the significant power, impact, and influence the tongue has in our lives. Its power to communicate our thoughts and feelings, express our desires and opinions, or even convey our emotions is undeniable. 

Therefore, we must reflect on the forces that guide our speech and ensure that our words align with our faith in YAHWEH and His precepts. Unfortunately, some people allow their tongues to run wild, recklessly speaking whatever comes to mind without regard for the consequences. Others often speak impulsively, allowing their emotions, sinful nature, or negative impulses to dictate their words, which can cause hurt and harm to those around them. In our interactions with others, it is crucial to be mindful of the impact our words have on them. It is necessary to strive to speak with intention, kindness, and compassion towards others displaying the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23) and a YAHWEH-influenced life.

She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

Proverb 31:26 (HNV)

Let not any evil word go out from your mouth, but words that are good and useful for edification that it may impart a blessing to those who hear them.

Ephesians 4:29 (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

How do we Control Our Tongue?

We must seek the Spirit of YAHWEH and allow the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to be our bit and rudder, guiding and regulating our tongue toward righteousness. With this approach, we can avoid or at least minimize causing harm and instead use our words to bring about positive change and do good in the world. Indeed, the power of our words is immeasurable, and the way we choose to use them can make all the difference in our relationships, careers, and even our own sense of well-being.


Do not let your tongue set your life or the lives of those around you ablaze! Surrender your will to YAHWEH and let Him guide you.

By David Edwards


  1. Alitash Johnson on September 19, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    Love this!