The Untamable Tongue
1My brethren, #(Matt. 23:8); Rom. 2:21; 1 Tim. 1:7let not many of you become teachers, #Luke 6:37knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2For #1 Kin. 8:46we all stumble in many things. #Ps. 34:13If anyone does not stumble in word, #(Matt. 12:34–37; James 3:2–12)he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3Indeed, #Ps. 32:9we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4Look 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. 5Even so #Prov. 12:18; 15:2; James 1:26the tongue is a little member and #Ps. 12:3; 73:8boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6And #Ps. 120:2, 3; Prov. 16:27the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it #(Matt. 12:36; 15:11, 18)defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, #Ps. 140:3; Eccl. 10:11; Rom. 3:13full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made #Gen. 1:26; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:7in the similitude of God. 10Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12Can a #Matt. 7:16–20fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Heavenly Versus Demonic Wisdom
13#Gal. 6:4Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14But if you have #Rom. 13:13bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, #Rom. 2:17do not boast and lie against the truth. 15#Phil. 3:19This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16For #1 Cor. 3:3where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17But #1 Cor. 2:6, 7the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, #James 2:1without partiality #Rom. 12:9; 2 Cor. 6:6; 1 Pet. 1:22and without hypocrisy. 18#Prov. 11:18; Is. 32:17; Hos. 10:12; Amos 6:12; (Gal. 6:8; Phil. 1:11)Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.