1 I do not want many of you, my Brothers, to become teachers, knowing, as you do, that we who teach shall be judged by a more severe standard than others. 2 We often make mistakes, every one of us. Any one who does not make mistakes when speaking is indeed a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body as well.
3 When we put bits into horses' mouths, to make them obey us, we control the rest of their bodies so. 4 Again, think of ships. Large as they are, and even when driven by fierce winds, they are controlled by a very small rudder and steered in whatever direction the man at the helm may determine. 5 So is it with the tongue. Small as it is, it is a great boaster. Think how tiny a spark may set the largest forest ablaze! 6 And the tongue is like a spark. Among the members of our body it proves itself a very world of mischief; it contaminates the whole body; it sets the wheels of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by the flames of the Pit.
7 For while all sorts of beasts and birds, and of reptiles and creatures in the sea, are tameable, and actually have been tamed by man, 8 No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless plague! It is charged with deadly poison! 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made 'in God's likeness.' 10 From the very same mouth come blessings and curses! My Brothers, it is not right that this should be so. 11 Does a spring give both good and bad water from the same source? 12 Can a fig tree, my Brothers, bear olives? or a vine bear figs? No, nor can a brackish well give good water.
13 Who among you claims to be wise and intelligent? Let him show that his actions are the outcome of a good life lived in the humility of true wisdom. 14 But, while you harbor envy and bitterness and a spirit of rivalry in your hearts, do not boast or lie to the detriment of the Truth. 15 That is not the wisdom which comes from above; no, it is earthly, animal, devilish. 16 For, where envy and rivalry exist, there you will also find disorder and all kinds of base actions. 17 But the wisdom from above is, before every thing else, pure; then peace-loving, gentle, open to conviction, rich in compassion and good deeds, and free from partiality and insincerity. 18 And righteousness, its fruit, is sown in peace by those who work for peace.