1 Many of you, my brothers, should avoid becoming teachers, because you know that we teachers are going to be judged with stricter judgment than other people. 2 For we all make many a slip. If anyone never slips in speech, he is a man of maturity; he can control his whole body too.
3 If we put bridles into horses' mouths to make them obey us, we can guide their whole bodies, too. 4 Look at ships, too; though great and driven by violent winds, they are steered with a tiny rudder wherever the pilot pleases. 5 So the tongue, too, is a little organ but can boast of great achievements. See how a spark, ever so tiny, can set a vast forest on fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, and takes its place among the parts of our bodies as a world of evil; it soils the whole body and sets on fire the circle of man's nature, and itself is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beasts and birds, of reptiles and sea animals, can be, or have been, tamed by man; 8 but the tongue no human being can tame. It is an evil incapable of being quieted, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth flow blessing and cursing! It ought not to be like this, my brothers. 11 A fountain cannot pour from the same opening fresh and brackish water, can it? 12 A fig tree, my brothers, cannot bear olives, or a grape-vine figs, can it? And a salt spring cannot furnish fresh water.
13 Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him show by his noble living that his good deeds are done in humility, which wisdom prompts. 14 But if you cherish bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, stop being proud of it and stop being false to the standard of truth. 15 This is not the kind of wisdom that comes down from above; no, it is earthly, human, demoniacal. 16 For wherever jealousy and rivalry exist, there will be confusion and all sorts of evil practices. 17 The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of compassion and good deeds, free from doubts and insincerity. 18 The harvest of uprightness is grown from the seed of peace by those who are peacemakers.