Controlling Our Speech
(1) My brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers, because you know that we who teach will be judged by a higher standard. (2) We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect; they are able to keep their whole body under control.
(3) We can make horses obey us when we put bits into their mouths; we can make them turn whenever we want. (4) Or take ships as an example, although they are large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a small rudder, and the pilot can turn his vessel wherever he wants it to go. (5) In the same way, the tongue is a small part of our body, but it makes great boasts. Consider how a small spark can start a major forest fire. (6) The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of our body. It sets the whole direction of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell (gehenna).
(7) Mankind can tame all kinds of animals—birds, reptiles, creatures of the sea—(8) but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. (9) With our tongue we praise (worship) our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who have been created in the image (likeness) of God. (10) Our mouths spew out both praise and curses. My brothers and sisters, this should not be! (11) A spring cannot produce both fresh water and salt water. (12) My brothers and sisters, a fig tree cannot produce olives, nor can a grapevine produce figs; neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Two Kinds of Wisdom
(13) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it to others by their good life—by doing good works done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
(14) But if you have resentful jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. (15) This kind of “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is from this world, without the Holy Spirit (unspiritual), and demonic. (16) For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder (confusion, division) and every practice of evil.
(17) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, humble, full of the good fruit of mercy, impartial, and sincere. (18) Peacemakers who plant in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.