Bible: James 3:1-13

The Power of the Tongue

3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, 1  because you know that we will be judged more strictly. 2  3:2 For we all stumble 3  in many ways. If someone does not stumble 4  in what he says, 5  he is a perfect individual, 6  able to control the entire body as well. 3:3 And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies. 7  3:4 Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. 3:5 So too the tongue is a small part of the body, 8  yet it has great pretensions. 9  Think 10  how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 3:6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents 11  the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It 12  pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell. 13 

3:7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature 14  is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. 15  3:8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless 16  evil, full of deadly poison. 3:9 With it we bless the Lord 17  and Father, and with it we curse people 18  made in God’s image. 3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. 19  3:11 A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 3:12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, 20  or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.

True Wisdom

3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. 21 

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