1 Do not be eager, my brethren, for many among you to become teachers; for you know that we teachers shall undergo severer judgement. 2 For we often stumble and fall, all of us. If there is any one who never stumbles in speech, that man has reached maturity of character and is able to curb his whole nature.
3 Remember that we put the horses' bit into their mouths to make them obey us, and so we turn their whole bodies round. 4 So too with ships, great as they are, and often driven along by strong gales, yet they can be steered with a very small rudder in whichever direction the caprice of the man at the helm chooses. 5 In the same way the tongue is an insignificant part of the body, but it is immensely boastful. Remember how a mere spark may set a vast forest in flames. 6 And the tongue is a fire. That world of iniquity, the tongue, is placed within us spotting and soiling our whole nature, and setting the whole round of our lives on fire, being itself set on fire by Gehenna.
7 For brute nature under all its forms--beasts and birds, reptiles and fishes--can be subjected and kept in subjection by human nature. 8 But the tongue no man or woman is able to tame. It is an ever-busy mischief, and is 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 there proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be. 11 In a fountain, are fresh water and bitter sent forth from the same opening? 12 Can a fig-tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine yield figs? No; and neither can salt water yield sweet.
13 Which of you is a wise and well-instructed man? Let him prove it by a right life with conduct guided by a wisely teachable spirit. 14 But if in your hearts you have bitter feelings of envy and rivalry, do not speak boastfully and falsely, in defiance of the truth. 15 That is not the wisdom which comes down from above: it belongs to earth, to the unspiritual nature, and to evil spirits. 16 For where envy and rivalry are, there also are unrest and every vile deed. 17 The wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceful, courteous, not self-willed, full of compassion and kind actions, free from favouritism and from all insincerity. 18 And peace, for those who strive for peace, is the seed of which the harvest is righteousness.