THE WORD: Harder to tame than wild beasts

“Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition” by Cristiano Banti (1857) is a painting in a private collection. While Galileo was labelled by the church as “vehemently suspect of heresy,” we know that he spoke truth even in the face of persecution.

The tongue is a very troublesome member! It is a very important member; however, and with it we can do great good. 

Our words — if they are true and loving — carry blessings wherever they are heard. But the tongue is hard to control. When we have really gotten our tongue under control, we are almost perfect. One who can govern his speech can govern every other part of his life. 

A small bit keeps a spirited horse in check, and a little rudder turns a great ship in its course. Just so, the tongue, though so small a member, controls the whole life! 

The tongue is harder to tame than wild beasts! There has been but one Man who never spoke foolishly, rashly, bitterly. Jesus never did — His words were always pure, sweet, helpful and inspiring. 

We ought to set ourselves the task of mastering our tongues, for then we can do untold good with them. Only Christ can help us to do it. He mastered everything — demons, diseases, winds, waves, death itself. He alone can help us to master the most unruly tongue! 

Treasures from J.R. Miller, Christian pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911.  


James 3:6-8 

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.