Big problems can sometimes come in small packages. Nowhere is this truer than with the tongue.
(James 3:3) Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well.
Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
Don’t be fooled by its size. This little dude between your teeth has a big influence on your direction. Like the rudder of a ship.
Point is that while it’s a really small thing it has a huge influence. Like the rudder of a ship.
17 years ago I learned how important a rudder can be. We were sailing a 36 foot sailboat on Galveston bay. Beautiful day. Heading from Seabrook to Galveston. Offshore sailing the next day. Winds were in our face, so we were making broad tacks. My heading was Texas City. Ray went below and I came off the heading about 10 degrees. That put the wind more over the side of the boat. I heeled sharply, and Ray went tumbling. He griped at mean, and I laughed. Did it again just to mess with him.
This time I hit the sand bar Ray said the charts warn you about. Full sail. Full speed. We were stuck. I jumped over the front and pushed the boat while Ray threw it into reverse. We heard a loud pop. The cable jumped the track and the rudder locked at 90 degrees.
All we could do was sail in a circle.
We had to call the harbor for rescue.
This 20,000 pound boat was totally at the mercy of the rudder.
This is a great picture of the tongue. Don’t be fooled by how small it is. How often has your tongue gotten you into trouble? How many times have you said something that you didn’t mean, or that you wish you hadn’t said?
A wise man once said, “I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.”
So true. So what does this mean? Well guard your tongue. Or better yet, ask God to guard it for you. Think before you speak. Take care with that little guy. Remember, sometimes big problems come in small packages.