Friday, October 28, 2011

Put A Bit In It

"Someone who does not trip up in speech has reached perfection and is able to keep the whole body on a tight rein. Once we put a bit in the horse's mouth, to make it do what we want, we have the whole animal under our control..."

As one might understand, in having a presence as a blogger on the Internet, I am subject to various responses, comments and conversations with people all over the world. Some are civil and know the art of discussion. Others are more venomous and have little restraint in their verbiage, often getting off topic and resorting to impugning my character or analyzing my emotional or spiritual health.

Occasionally, I will have an opportunity to have an off-site dialogue by e-mail with a JTO visitor. It was one such dialogue recently that followed this unproductive and divisive pattern:

1. The blogger writes  a discourse disagreeing with something I have written.
2. I write back a gracious response, showing that the disagreement is not actual, but a result of semantics.
3. The blogger pushes back harder, dumping on more disagreements and adding more to the topic, before resolving the first issue.
4. I attempt to cut through the increasingly confusing blogger communication, by asking civil, but direct questions, so as to understand the blogger's true motivation.
5. The blogger reacts strongly at having been questioned and a personal attack ensues.

This "Orthodox" blogger said I need to undergo an exorcism. This, because the blogger took exception to my use of the phrase, "prophets speak when they are inspired by God..."  This blogger did not like the word, inspired, and thought it was too charismatic, protestant, or some other such negative, and the blogger's conclusion is that I have demons. It is a fearful thing to cast such judgement on a brother, and arrogant to usurp the authority of one's own priest in his spiritual life.

"...but nobody can tame the tongue-it is a pest that will not keep still, full of deadly poison. We use it to bless the Lord and Father, but we also use it to curse people who are made in God's image: the blessing and the curse come out of the same mouth. My brothers, this must be wrong..."

"Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? It is not precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you lack it; so you kill. You have ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force." 

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." 

Real wisdom, and that which comes from God, is knowing when to bridle your tongue.



  1. budgerangel@gmail.com10:03 AM

    Good post. On the mark. Unfortunately even with the bit in the mouth it the riders discipline and the horses discipline that gets him going forward. The horse still has the power to buck you off, but if you know how to handle the reins most of the time you can redirect that power. However sometimes I find it wise to get him under control by getting off until I can address the issue of why he is not heading my directions from the saddle. The horses past experiences can influence his reactions, so sometimes it takes hours and weeks to give him new memories. But it can be done. So communication is not a sure thing and has a lot of variables especially when there are two brains at work, even though the rider is supposed to have the smarts, the horse does have a mind of it's own and is more powerful distructionwise. I have to remember not to humanize the horse and place human motives on him. I have to rememember it's not personal in a human sence. For the horse it's self preservation and he's working from fear if he's reacting. My job in the relationship with the horse is to get him to work out of respect for me, not fear. I just have to outthink them at that point and sometimes that means getting off and doing something else.

  2. That's why I use a pseudonym Nathan. I get harassed and harangued as it by all the annoying Antiochians of my former Church who just can't seem to realize that I'm gone. Imagine what I'd get if the knew I was VSO!

  3. Budgerangel, You obviously know horses. Perhaps putting a bit in it is only the starting point?

  4. (Bec)8:46 AM

    If the goal is only control, a bit will get you there albeit with force, but if it's trust and communication between horse an rider, it takes time. Between people it's often that same power struggle and even when one seems to be driving and the other seemingly submissive and attentive to the others point of view, it may only be quiet distain. Silence never has meant agreement. If the intent in dialog is not to control or persuade, then the emotions are there, but don't drive the dialog. When a dialog moves into personal attack the issue has been disregarded for the sake of an individual mandate, so to speak. I think the reality is we all want others to validate our point of view, if not agree with it. For me if I am persuaded in my heart regarding foundational truths, anothers disagreement with it may cause me sadness and longing for them to know the truth, and even some irritation, but I learned long ago the only one that can change a heart is God. I'm glad He was and is patient with me.

  5. To: Minas
    RE: Your unpublished comment
    No, it is not true, and your judgement and false gossip is a perfect example of why one should, Put A Bit In It.

    P.S. Read the post about Drive By Bloggers such as yourself who shoot from anonymity. Why is your profile not available for others to see? Such a serious public accusation as the one you leveled at me can only be seen as cowardice and fails to follow the scriptural mandate on how to deal with a brother you perceive to be in sin. I have a clearly available e-mail (, should you care to bring your falsehood into the light.

  6. "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." Sometimes it is not possible. "Love those who persecute you and pray for those who spitefully use you."


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