Bridle Your Tongue

James 1:26 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.
              The dictionary defines the word seem as to appear, to show a resemblance, or to have the appearance of truth and fact.  A few examples that are quite common of the usage of the word seem are, “it seems so easy for him,” or “well thatseems to make sense,” or “it seems like just yesterday,” and “something just seems to be missing here.”  When the word seem is used the readers or hearers of the word understand that there is room for error or correction to be involved in the context of the speakers’ dialogue.  In other words, it is very likely that what seems to be spoken is true, however it could also be untrue or with some error.
              Now the Word of God gives its readers plenty of helps to understand if an individual is right with God or not.  It is not that the Christian is Heaven’s FBI, responsible for investigating whether others are right with the Lord or not.  Rather, these helps are more to protect the Christian giving him insight to the guile, deceitfulness, and trickery of man.  The Christian does not seek to identify the bad traits that individuals possess, but should be able to recognize these ill traits when they are presented so that he can respond appropriately.
              The verse above teaches that things are not always as they seem, or, rather, people are not always as they seem to be.  It is not altogether difficult to appear religious, at least when others are watching; some do put on a good show.  And the hint of proof that the Lord gives to His people in spotting an individual who only has the appearance of religion, is found in their words.  And we know this because the Apostle James said, and bridleth not his tongue.  A bridle is a restraint and a guide.  But whose responsibility is it to restrain and to guide the tongue?  Very clearly it is the individual’s responsibility.  And if the individual refuses to bridle his tongue the Bible says that he is deceived; he believes that he has effective religion, but he is deceived.  Wow; the wisdom of the Lord is truly amazing.  It is not only the amount of words, Matthew 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil; but also the choice of words that are spoken, Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.    
              So very obviously we find in Scripture that our behavior and speech are very important in revealing if our relationship with Jesus is in vain or not.  Proof, undeniable proof that we are striving to serve our Lord will be found in whether or not we have learned to bridle our tongues, or not.  And the Christian who has it mastered is quite salty; Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.  
~Pastor Kaiser
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