1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all make many mistakes. Anyone who never makes a mistake in what he says has a character that is fully developed and is able to control his whole body as well.
3 If we put bridles into horses' mouths to make them obey us, we can guide their whole bodies. 4 Even ships, great as they are, and driven by strong winds, are steered with a very small rudder wherever the pilot pleases. 5 So the tongue is a little organ and yet very boastful. What a great forest a spark will set on fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of wrong the tongue proves in our bodies, soiling the whole body and setting fire to the whole round of nature, and set on fire itself by hell.
7 For every kind of animal and bird, reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by man, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is an irreconcilable evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord our Father, and with it we curse men made in God's likeness. 10 Blessing and cursing issue from the same mouth! This is not right, my brothers. 11 Does a spring pour forth fresh and brackish water from the same crevice? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grape vine figs? A salt spring cannot give fresh water.
13 What wise, intelligent man is there among you? Let him show by his good life that what he does is done in the humility of wisdom. 14 But if you cherish bitter feelings of jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus belie the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come from above. It is earthly, animal, demon-like. 16 For wherever jealousy and rivalry exist, there will be confusion and every low action. 17 The wisdom that is from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, considerate, willing to yield, full of compassion and good deeds, whole-hearted, straightforward. 18 The harvest uprightness yields must be sown in peace, by peacemakers.