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ESV — James 3

Taming the Tongue

cNot many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For dwe all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, ehe is a perfect man, fable also to bridle his whole body. If we put gbits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 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. So also the tongue is a small member, yet hit boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And ithe tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, jstaining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,1 and set on fire by hell.2 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, kfull of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people lwho are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,3 these things ought not to be so. 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? mBy his good conduct let him show his works nin the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter ojealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not pthe wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, qdemonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But rthe wisdom from above is first pure, then speaceable, gentle, open to reason, tfull of mercy and good fruits, uimpartial and vsincere. 18 And wa harvest of righteousness xis sown in peace by those who make peace.

Footnotes

[1] 3:6 Or wheel of birth
[2] 3:6 Greek Gehenna
[3] 3:10 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12