James 3 ESV

Taming the Tongue

1 1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

References for James 3:1

2 For 2we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, 3he is a perfect man, 4able also to bridle his whole body.

References for James 3:2

3 If we put 5bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.

References for James 3:3

4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet 6it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

References for James 3:5

6 And 7the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, 8staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,a and set on fire by hell.b

References for James 3:6

    • g 3:6 - Or wheel of birth
    • h 3:6 - Greek Gehenna
      7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
      8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, 9full of deadly poison.

      References for James 3:8

      9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people 10who are made in the likeness of God.

      References for James 3:9

      10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,c these things ought not to be so.

      References for James 3:10

        • i 3:10 - Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12
          11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?
          12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

          Wisdom from Above

          13 Who is wise and understanding among you? 11By his good conduct let him show his works 12in the meekness of wisdom.

          References for James 3:13

          14 But if you have bitter 13jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

          References for James 3:14

          15 This is not 14the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, 15demonic.

          References for James 3:15

          16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
          17 But 16the wisdom from above is first pure, then 17peaceable, gentle, open to reason, 18full of mercy and good fruits, 19impartial and 20sincere.

          References for James 3:17

          18 And 21a harvest of righteousness 22is sown in peace by those who make peace.