James 3

Taming the Tongue

Not many [of you] should become teachers, my brothers, [because] you know that we [ who teach ] will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone {is} never at fault in what he says, he [is] a perfect man, able to control [his] whole body. [When] we put bits into the mouths of the horses to make them obey us, we can guide the whole animal. Consider ships as well. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot is inclined. In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, [but] it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest {ablaze} . The tongue also [is] a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the [body] . It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life {on fire} , and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. [It is] a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10  Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! 11  [Can] [both] fresh [water] and bitter [water] flow from the same spring? 12  My brothers, can a fig tree grow olives, or a grapevine [bear] figs? Neither [can] a salt [spring] produce fresh water.

The Wisdom from Above

13  Who [is] wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by [his] good conduct, [by] deeds [done] in [the] humility that comes from wisdom. 14  But if you {harbor} in your hearts bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, {do} not boast [in it] or deny the truth. 15  Such wisdom [does] not come from above, but [is] earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition [exist] , there [ will be ] disorder and every evil practice. 17  But [the] wisdom from above is first [of all] pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, [and] sincere. 18  Peacemakers [who] sow in peace [ reap ] [the] fruit of righteousness.
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