James 3 New Life Version (NLV)
The Power of the Tongue
3 My Christian brothers, not many of you should become teachers. If we do wrong, it will be held against us more than other people who are not teachers. 2 We all make many mistakes. If anyone does not make a mistake with his tongue by saying the wrong things, he is a perfect man. It shows he is able to make his body do what he wants it to do. 3 We make a horse go wherever we want it to go by a small bit in its mouth. We turn its whole body by this. 4 Sailing ships are driven by strong winds. But a small rudder turns a large ship whatever way the man at the wheel wants the ship to go.
5 The tongue is also a small part of the body, but it can speak big things. See how a very small fire can set many trees on fire. 6 The tongue is a fire. It is full of wrong. It poisons the whole body. The tongue sets our whole lives on fire with a fire that comes from hell. 7 Men can make all kinds of animals and birds and fish and snakes do what they want them to do. 8 But no man can make his tongue say what he wants it to say. It is sinful and does not rest. It is full of poison that kills. 9 With our tongue we give thanks to our Father in heaven. And with our tongue we speak bad words against men who are made like God. 10 Giving thanks and speaking bad words come from the same mouth. My Christian brothers, this is not right! 11 Does a well of water give good water and bad water from the same place? 12 Can a fig tree give olives or can a grape-vine give figs? A well does not give both good water and bad water.
Wisdom from Above
13 Who among you is wise and understands? Let that one show from a good life by the things he does that he is wise and gentle. 14 If you have jealousy in your heart and fight to have many things, do not be proud of it. Do not lie against the truth. 15 This is not the kind of wisdom that comes from God. But this wisdom comes from the world and from that which is not Christian and from the devil. 16 Wherever you find jealousy and fighting, there will be trouble and every other kind of wrong-doing. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. Then it gives peace. It is gentle and willing to obey. It is full of loving-kindness and of doing good. It has no doubts and does not pretend to be something it is not. 18 Those who plant seeds of peace will gather what is right and good.