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“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)

There is not one person reading this devotional right now who has not had a verbal stab in the back. At one time or another, people are caught with their venomous tongues waving in the wind, either by their target or the target’s friend. Reckless words of accusation and destruction fly without boundaries and have the ability to stay airborne often much longer than their launch pad lives.

It’s painful enough to have a stranger say something caustic about you, but something altogether different when it comes from another follower of Christ. For some reason, it hurts deeper and lasts longer. Most likely, it is because you had the assumption that all of God’s children, especially those who wear their religion for all to see, know better than that. Unfortunately, that’s not the case!

If you are still wincing today over the careless, painful and caustic words of another, there is a way to get over it immediately. Here’s how: forgive them right now.

Move on with your life and choose to refuse traveling forward with your eyes in the back of your head. Most of all, apply this verse to your situation and stand where the Lord is standing. Here’s what He says: “They have a deceived heart and a worthless religion.” If, indeed they are unable to control what they say, they have revealed the spiritual impotence residing quietly in their life until they spoke hastily. Think about it for a minute. They are in a difficult place in their fellowship posture with God. They are in need of repentance toward heaven and confession before you. That’s not a good place to be at all. So…forgive them, before they even realize you know what they said about you.

This is a great day to remember; we all are just a slip of the tongue away from being in their situation. Stand now, not as “an accuser of brethren,” as the Bible declares the evil one to be, but one who is making a fresh commitment to bridle one’s tongue at all times. That bridle and bit, too, in the horse’s mouth have no effect unless the rider, the lord of the horse, sits in control. You’ve got the picture. Hand the reigns now of your mouth over to the One who will one day return on a white horse!

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