Controlling the Tongue
1Not many should become teachers, my brothers,3:1 Or brothers and sisters because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.3:1 Mt 23:8; Rm 2:20–21; 1Tm 1:7
2For we all stumble in many ways.3:2 1Kg 8:46; Pr 20:9; Jms 2:10 If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body.3:2 Mt 12:37; Jms 1:26; 1Pt 3:10
3Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us,3:3 Ps 32:9; 39:1 we direct their whole bodies.
4And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things.3:5 Ps 12:3–4; 73:8–9 Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest.
6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed3:6 Or places itself, or appoints itself among our members. It stains the whole body,3:6 Ps 120:2–3; Pr 16:27; Mt 15:11,18 sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7Every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish is tamed and has been tamed by humankind,
8but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.3:8 Ps 140:3; Ec 10:11; Rm 3:13
9With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness.3:9 Gn 1:26; 1Co 11:7
10Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way.
11Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening?
12Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.
The Wisdom from Above
13Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct he should show that his works are done in the gentleness that comes from wisdom.3:13 Jms 1:21; 2:18
14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth.3:14 Rm 2:8; 13:13; 2Co 12:20
15Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.3:15 2Th 2:9; 1Tm 4:1; Jms 1:17; Rv 2:24
16For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice.
17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense.3:17 Lk 6:36; Rm 12:9; 1Co 2:6; Heb 12:11; Jms 2:4