James 3

The Tongue Is a Fire

1 1Let not many of you become teachers, 2my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
2 For we all 3stumble in many ways. 4If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a 5perfect man, able to 6bridle the whole body as well.
3 Now 7if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.
4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it 8boasts of great things. 9See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
6 And 10the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which 11defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by 12hell.
7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.
8 But no one * can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of 13deadly poison.
9 With it we bless 14our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, 15who have been made in the likeness of God;
10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?

Wisdom from Above

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? 17Let him show by his 18good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter 19jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against 20the truth.
15 This wisdom is not that which comes down 21from above, but is 22earthly, 23natural, 24demonic.
18 And the 33seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
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