Tag Archives: Bridle

Of Horses, For Mouths Part II ~ How to Bridle the Mouth

Bridle My Mouth 2

~Before sharing Part II, and so that these words will not come across as though I have it all together, I need to emphasize how I struggle in these areas.  In fact, I really blew it yesterday!  God does not want us to give up, though.  He wants us free in both areas of bridling our mouths so that we can use them for what He intended, bringing praise and glory to Him with our lives!  Blessings in the fight!

To understand about bridling the mouth, we must grasp the problem first.  Scripture is clear about matters of uncontrolled tongues.  Out of the abundance of the heart man speaks.  With our words, we merely spew out what we have stored up.  When poisoned with hatred, bitterness and such, the heart’s venom simply bubbles out.

Unbridled eating is trickier to peg.  Christ is clear that nothing we eat will defile the heart.  Instead, chronic lack of self-control with food is usually just a matter of loving to eat.  Since so much of our socializing involves food, and since there are true physiological factors that can alter one’s appetite, problems with overindulgence of food is harder to scrutinize.  We know, too, that Christ spent much time dining with others; He showed a fondness for good food!

I love to eat, and do not even get me started about chocolate (can I get a witness?), but avoiding the issue of overindulgence is a mistake.  Although not true in every situation, unbridled eating can be symptomatic of a defiant heart that refuses the Spirit’s call for moderation.  With either incessant overeating or unbridled tongues, the problems could stem from pride.  Here is why.

Pride quenches the Holy Spirit.  It blocks His bridling work.  Pride allows self to say whatever it wants about someone, opposite of allowing the Holy Spirit to soften the heart with God’s love.  Pride permits self to give in to selfish abandon by chronic overeating, rather than yielding to the Spirits control.

When pride rules, I feel completely entitled to rip others apart, and am incapable of seeing my own wrongs.  I feel entitled to lash out at someone who wronged me.  When pride dominates, I deserve that chocolate syrup-topped ice cream every night.  I owe it to myself to always super-size my fast food meals, regardless of how it makes me feel or what my lipid profile reveals.  Notice the I’s and Me’s?  Tell tale symptoms of pride.

 To help with bridling our words, I found this recent suggestion of three simple tongue gatekeepers.  Before speaking about someone, ask yourself,

Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?

I like these gatekeepers.  It reminds me of the principle of letting the law of kindness always be on my lips.  God wants us to use kind words with others, but it takes work.  I should know, since I am one of His slowest learners in this area!  However, sensitivity and yielding to the Spirit will produce the fruit of kindness on our lips.

If I had it all together with food, I would probably be busy running a highly successful weight management company!  For some, especially for those of us with sweet cravings, this area is an enormous battle and takes discipline.  Any successes I have experienced have come when I value His presence and taking care of His temple more than the extra food which I think I need.  When I instead exchange my bondage to food with devotion to Him, He blesses me.  I feel healthy and encouraged to hunger and thirst for Him more.  However, as I said earlier, I am a long way from perfection in bridling my mouth.  In fact, one reason I wrote this is to motivate myself!

To help with bridling what we ingest, I came up with my own mouth gatekeepers.  For me, even remembering one will help.  Perhaps I will post them on my refrigerator!

Is it necessary?
Is it beneficial?
Is it really going to satisfy?

With either area, the bottom line is that we MUST HAVE GOD’S HELP!

I do wish I had grown up on a farm, but I would have had much to learn.  I am still skittish around horses, and understand even less about bridling them.  By the power of Christ in me, though, I am learning to bridle my mouth by letting Him bridle my heart.  Perhaps city slickers can bridle after all!

For Part I of this series, follow this link:  Of Horses, For Mouths ~ How to Bridle the Mouth

Of Horses, For Mouths ~ How to Bridle the Mouth

Bridle My Mouth
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I not sin with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle
Psalm 39:1

My dad grew up on a farm. From listening to his stories, I sometimes wish that I could have.  I love the outdoors and even the smell of pastured animals.  I love the integrity and work ethics of farmers and their families.  I used to discuss this longing with him, but my dad would always remind me of the hardships that come with farming.  Of how he had to rise before dawn to milk the cows before heading to school, and long before milking machines came about.  He had fond memories of his upbringing, but always insisted that farming was often more difficult than pleasant.

As a city slicker, I am not accustomed to farm animals, such as horses.  I have ridden them a few times; mostly, with the help of trail guides, but once from a close friend who owned some.

During a visit with her in Florida one summer, I got more exposure to horses than I wanted.  One morning while there, she tried to teach me how to ride bareback.  What happened instead was a near miss with major injury.  Without warning, the horse reared, throwing me underneath him, and then hoofed me firmly on my shin.  From that point on, I opted out of an equestrian pastime.  However, I did learn much from my week-long adventure, especially of the importance of a bridle.

A bridle is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse.  Without it, the horse has free rein, and all sorts of unruliness can ensue.  Our mouths need bridles, too.  If left untamed, they can wreak much havoc.

In Scripture, God relates that the tongue is a member of the body that no man can tame.  Apart from Christ’s help, man is unable to successfully block its propensity toward wrong or to control the torrential flood that flows all too easily off one’s tongue.

Damaging criticism, harsh comments and poisonous gossip are but a few of the harmful effects of an unbridled mouth.  While most Christians avoid the use of foul language, the same ones see nothing wrong with ripping someone apart.  Yet, God finds this appalling and even describes it as forward or perverse.  We trivialize things like gossip or sowing discord, yet God finds such sin an abomination.

Unfortunately, there is another use of the mouth, which if left untamed, brings trouble.  Chronic overindulgence of food also damages.  Whereas forwardness of the tongue causes damage to others, habitual gluttony ruins our bodies, God’s temple.  Both are displeasing to God, and typically trivialized.  However, both have negative, even messy, consequences.  One messes up our relationships, the other our health.

In reality, how do we justify something like gossip when God considers it an abomination?  Or how can we permit unbridled gorging when it causes such bodily ruin?

I wish that I could boast of having it together in these areas.  I do not.  However, a connection does seem to exist between allowing God to bridle both what comes in and what goes out of one’s mouth.  Both involve choices, and both are difficult to control, but with God’s help, taming them both is possible.

Conclusion tomorrow

Part II