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?