3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters; you know that we will be judged more severely. 2 All of us make many mistakes, after all. If anyone makes no mistakes in what they say, such a person is a fully complete human being, capable of keeping firm control over the whole body as well. 3 We put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and then we can direct their whole bodies. 4 Consider, too, the case of large ships; it takes strong winds to blow them along, but one small rudder will turn them whichever way the helmsman desires and decides. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a little member but boasts great things. See how small a fire it takes to set a large forest ablaze! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of injustice, with its place established right there among our members. It defiles the whole body; it sets the wheel of nature ablaze, and is itself set ablaze by hell. 7 Every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, you see, can be tamed, and has been tamed, by humans. 8 But no single human is able to tame the tongue. It is an irrepressible evil, full of deadly poison. 9 By it we bless the Lord and father; and by it we curse humans who are made in God’s likeness! 10 Blessing and curses come out of the same mouth! My dear family, it isn’t right that it should be like that. 11 Does a spring put out both sweet and bitter water from the same source? 12 Dear friends, can a fig tree bear olives, or a vine bear figs? Nor can salt water yield fresh.
True and False Wisdom
13 Who is wise and discerning among you? Such a person should, by their upright behaviour, display their works in the humility of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and contention in your hearts, don’t boast, and tell lies against the truth. 15 This isn’t the wisdom that comes from above. It is earthly, merely human, coming from the world of demons. 16 For where there is jealousy and contention, there you will get unruly behaviour and every kind of evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from above is first holy, then peaceful, gentle, compliant, filled with mercy and good fruits, unbiased, sincere. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
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