James 3
Berean Study Bible

Taming the Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to control his whole body.

3When we put bits into the mouths of the horses to make them obey us, we can guide the whole animal. 4Consider ships as well. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot is inclined.

5In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest on fire. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

9With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! 11Can both fresh water and bitter water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree grow olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

The Wisdom from Above

13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good conduct, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast in it or deny the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.

17But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace reap the fruit of righteousness.


James 2
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