1 My brethren, a let not many of you become teachers, b knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For c we all stumble in many things. d If anyone does not stumble in word, e he is a 1 perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 2 Indeed, f we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.
5 Even so g the tongue is a little member and h boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And i the tongue is a fire, a world of 3 iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it j defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of 4 nature; and it is set on fire by 5 hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, k full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made l in the 6 similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a m fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? 7 Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
13 n Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have o bitter envy and 8 self-seeking in your hearts, p do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 q This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For r where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But s the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, t without partiality u and without hypocrisy. 18 v Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.