James 31 My brothers, not many of you should choose to become teachers, knowing that you shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all offend in many ways. If anyone does not offend in word, he is a perfect man. And he is then able, as if with a bridle, to lead the whole body around. 3 For so we put bridles into the mouths of horses, in order to submit them to our will, and so we turn their whole body around. 4 Consider also the ships, which, though they are great and may be driven by strong winds, yet they are turned around with a small rudder, to be directed to wherever the strength of the pilot might will. 5 So also the tongue certainly is a small part, but it moves great things. Consider that a small fire can set ablaze a great forest. 6 And so the tongue is like a fire, comprising all iniquity. The tongue, stationed in the midst of our body, can defile the entire body and inflame the wheel of our nativity, setting a fire from Hell. 7 For the nature of all beasts and birds and serpents and others is ruled over, and has been ruled over, by human nature. 8 But no man is able to rule over the tongue, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 By it we bless God the Father, and by it we speak evil of men, who have been made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so! 11 Does a fountain emit, out of the same opening, both sweet and bitter water? 12 My brothers, can the fig tree yield grapes? Or the vine, figs? Then neither is salt water able to produce fresh water. 13 Who is wise and well-taught among you? Let him show, by means of good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you hold a bitter zeal, and if there is contention in your hearts, then do not boast and do not be liars against the truth. 15 For this is not wisdom, descending from above, but rather it is earthly, beastly, and diabolical. 16 For wherever envy and contention is, there too is inconstancy and every depraved work. 17 But within the wisdom that is from above, certainly, chastity is first, and next peacefulness, meekness, openness, consenting to what is good, a plenitude of mercy and good fruits, not judging, without falseness. 18 And so the fruit of justice is sown in peace by those who make peace.
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