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Filtering Your Tongue

Posted by Matt Postiff May 23, 2019 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Sanctification  Theology 

For those of us familiar with kitchen equipment, think of a kitchen strainer or colander. Picture pouring some boiled vegetables or noodles in it. What you don't want is filtered out, and what you want to keep stays in the strainer.

For those of us who are mechanically inclined, think of an oil filter in an internal combustion engine. Picture it as the engine is operating, with the oil pump pushing oil into the filter through the center hole, through the filter media, and out. What is left in the filter is the larger dirt particles. What flows out is cleaner engine oil, so that it can more effectively protect the rest of the engine against wear and damage.

In both cases, the filter removes what is unwanted (water, dirt) and keeps what is wanted, "purifying" the filtered substance from whatever is undesirable.

The Bible uses a similar word-picture, but instead of filter it is a bridle. "If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue...this one's religion is useless." (James 1:26)

The bridle serves a similar purpose as the filter. It constrains what is unwanted from coming out of the mouth, and allows to come out of the mouth that which is desirable. The desirable qualities are love, kindness, encouragement, truthfulness, admonishment, graciousness, edification, warning, and teaching. What is removed is useless, mean, destructive, deceitful, coarse, profane, discouraging, untruthful, etc.

The bridle is a figure of speech that refers to control. It is especially appropriate because in a horse, the bridle is put in the mouth to control the horse's movements. In our case, the bridle represents that the mind is to control the speech so that what comes out is filtered. The bad is removed and what remains is the good.

So how is your, filter...working these days? Does it need to be changed so that what comes out of your mouth in every conversation is pure and honorable in the sight of God?

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