James 3 New American Standard Bible

The Tongue

3 1  Let not many of you become teachers , my brethren , knowing that as such we will incur 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 whole 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 , 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 boasts of great things . See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire ! 6  And the tongue is a fire , the very world of iniquity ; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body , and sets on fire the course of our life , and is set on fire by hell . 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 e 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 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? 12  Can a fig tree , my brethren , produce olives , or a vine produce figs ? Nor can salt water produce fresh .

The Wisdom from Above

13  Who among you is wise and understanding ? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds 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 that which comes down from above , but is earthly , natural , demonic . 16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing . 17  But the wisdom from above is first pure , then peaceable , gentle , reasonable , full of mercy and good fruits , unwavering , without hypocrisy . 18  And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace .

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