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  • Writer's pictureJonathan George

Reining in Mr. Tongue

Kids Bible Devotional for May 14, 2024

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Focus Verse

James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. (NKJV)

Jump Start

“Whoa, there, big fella. We’re a team. Remember?"

Back in the early 1960’s, there was a popular television sitcom called “Mister Ed”. The show was about a talking horse named – you guessed it – Mister Ed. The show’s theme song written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans went something like this, “A horse is a horse, of course, of course. Unless, of course, he is the famous Mister Ed”. Of course, no one but Ed’s owner, Wilbur, could hear him speak, which added to the show’s humor.

It’s funny because here we are talking about a talking horse when the title of today’s devotion is “Reining in Mr. Tongue.” You see, we are advanced enough to be able to rein in a large creature like a horse but not so good reining in our own tongues. Wars are started by men’s rhetoric and speech. Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Do people really care what we say? Does God? Short answer, yes. People care and so does God. Our ability to control our tongue is very important.

Today's Devotion

Leah loved horses and talked about them often. For her birthday, her mother bought her ten riding lessons at the local equestrian center. When they arrived at the center for her first lesson, though, Leah got so nervous she almost backed out. Until she found out who her instructor was.

“Are you ready to ride, Leah?”

“Sister Roberts, are you my riding teacher?” Leah asked.

“I am,” Sister Rogers replied.

Leah turned to her mother. “I didn’t know Sister Roberts rode horses.”

“She’s the one I bought the lessons from,” Mother said.

A young girl walked up tugging on the reigns to a horse with a shimmering black coat and a long flowing mane.

“What a lovely creature,” Mom commented.

“Yeah, ole Sally she’s a beauty. You want to hop on her, Leah?” Sister Roberts nodded toward the steed.

Leah carefully mounted the horse with Sister Roberts’ help. Her face brightened when she gripped the leather reins.

“I’m going to walk you and Sally around the ring so you can find your balance and get a feel of the reins in your hands.”

“How do the reins work?” Leah asked.

“They steer the horse. There’s a little piece of metal in her mouth called a bit. Depending on how you pull on the reins tells Sally where you want to or what you want her to do.”

“Does the bit hurt?” Leak asked.

“Not too bad. Just enough to move her where you want.”

“It’s kinda crazy how this big horse can be pulled around just her tongue,” Leah said.

“Yeah, if it was that easy with us humans,” Sister Roberts said. “If we don’t control our tongue then it shows we’re not in control of our behavior. Not a very good thing for a Christian not to be able to control what they say. It can make for a bad witness for Jesus, especially if we have a potty mouth, or we lie, complain, or gossip.”

“I know a few people who could use a bit,” Leah joked.

“Yeah, me too,” Sister Roberts laughed. “But let’s not mention names. For now, let’s focus on riding. About time to let you see what ole Sally can do.”

Wrap Up

We don’t just reflect Jesus in what we do or don’t do. We also reflect Jesus in what we say and how we talk to other people. For this reason, our speech should be pure, and we should always be ready to give an encouraging word. And, when you need to correct someone, do it in love.

After all, isn’t that what Jesus did?

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