Vincere = Bridle Your Tongue
Vincere = Conquer in Latin
PART FOUR OF SIX
Our tongue. It can be a friend or one of our biggest foes. I wrote a little on this subject several weeks ago, saying, “We need to be encouragers and watch what we say as our words have much power. For years now, I try to read the Proverbs on a daily basis. There are 31 Proverbs, so whatever date it is, I try to read that Proverb during my quiet time. For instance, today is July 9, so I read Proverbs 9 this morning. A recurring theme and one of the greatest traits of wisdom is to know how to bridle our tongue. What we learned as children, we should practice as adults, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”” ( https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/cotidie.blog/141).
For instance, a few things Proverbs tell us:
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (Proberbs 13:3).
“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20).
“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13).
“To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23).
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23).
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).
“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (Proverbs 17:28).
James also has much to say about taming, or bridling the tongue:
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 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. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 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. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
“How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water” (James 3:1-12).
James clearly tells us that the tongue cannot be tamed. It is impossible. A wild beast can be tamed, but the tongue cannot be tamed. I should wrap it up and quit writing then, right? No, there is one mightier than the tongue; God Almighty. God’s Spirit living within us can conquer our tongue, bridling it and making it subject to His will. He will set up guard if we ask Him to and allow it. He will help us.
Just for today, let the Lord bridle your tongue. Be on guard with the words that you speak, every word.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Five…..