James 3 - Legacy Standard Bible
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James 3

The Tongue Is a Fire

Do not, many of you, become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment.
2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the entire body as well. 3 Now if 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, they are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot wills. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of unrighteousness; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our existence, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a fountain pour forth from the same opening fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can saltwater produce fresh.

Wisdom from Above

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good conduct his works in the gentleness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not coming down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruits, without doubting, without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.