3 Do not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we shall come under greater responsibility. 2 For we one and all make many slips. If anyone does not slip in speech, that man is a complete man, able to bridle the whole body too. 3 And if we put bits in horses’ mouths to have them obey us, we bring around their whole body too. 4 Ships also, great as they are and driven by hard winds, are brought around by a little helm whichever way the steersman’s push will have it. 5 * So is the tongue a small organ and boasts a great record. What a great forest the least bit of fire will kindle! and the tongue is a fire. 6 The tongue is set among our organs as the world of wrong, what spots the whole body and sets aflame the wheel of birth and is set aflame by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and of birds, and of reptiles and the creatures of the sea, is and has been subdued by the human species; 8 but the tongue no human being can subdue, unquiet evil that it is, full of death-dealing venom. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God: 10 out of the same mouth come blessing and curse; my brothers, these things ought not to be so done. 11 Does a spring flow sweet and bitter out of the same orifice? 12 can a fig-tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? neither can salt water produce sweet. 13 Who is there among you that is wise and intelligent? let him show his deeds out of a good life, in meekness of wisdom. 14 * But if you have bitter jealousy and contest in your hearts, do not flout the truth and tell lies against it. 15 This wisdom is not heaven-descended but terrestrial, animal, fiendlike; 16 for where jealousy and contests are, there is disorder and every faulty action. 17 But the heaven-descended wisdom is first pure, then peaceable, reasonable, tractable, full of pity and good fruits, with no misgivings and no insincerities; 18 and fruit of righteousness is sowed in peace for those who make peace.
The Bible in Living English