The Letter of James
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier* judgment.+ 2 For we all stumble* many times.+ If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle also his whole body. 3 If we put bridles in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide also their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: Although they are so big and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the man at the helm is inclined to go.
5 So, too, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it makes great brags. See how small a fire it takes to set a great forest ablaze! 6 The tongue is also a fire.+ The tongue represents a world of unrighteousness among our body members, for it defiles all the body+ and sets the whole course of life* on fire, and it is set on fire by Ge·henʹna.* 7 For every kind of wild animal and bird and reptile* and sea creature is to be tamed and has been tamed by humans. 8 But no human can tame the tongue. It is unruly and injurious, full of deadly poison.+ 9 With it we praise Jehovah,* the Father, and yet with it we curse men who have come into existence “in the likeness of God.”+ 10 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing.
My brothers, it is not right for things to happen this way.+ 11 A spring does not cause the fresh* water and the bitter water to bubble out of the same opening, does it? 12 My brothers, a fig tree cannot produce olives, or a grapevine figs, can it?+ Neither can salt water produce fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him by his fine conduct demonstrate works performed with a mildness that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy+ and contentiousness*+ in your hearts, do not be bragging+ and lying against the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above; it is earthly,+ animalistic, demonic. 16 For wherever there are jealousy and contentiousness,* there will also be disorder and every vile thing.+
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,+ then peaceable,+ reasonable,+ ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits,+ impartial,+ not hypocritical.+ 18 Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions+ for* those who are making peace.+