Not many of you should become teachers, my friends, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly than others. We often make mistakes, every one of us. Anyone who does not make mistakes when speaking is indeed a perfect person, able to bridle their whole body as well. When we put bits into horses' mouths to make them obey us, we change their course the rest of their bodies. Again, think of ships. Large as they are, and even when driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder and steered in whatever direction the man at the helm may determine. So is it with the tongue. Small as it is, it is a great boaster. Think how a tiny spark may set the largest forest ablaze! And the tongue is like a spark. It is a world of unrighteousness among the parts of our body. It contaminates the whole body; it sets the whole course of our existence on fire, and is itself set on fire by the flames of Gehenna. For while all kinds of animals, birds and reptiles and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed by humans, no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless plague! It is charged with deadly poison! With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made ‘in God's likeness.’ 10 From the very same mouth come blessings and curses! My friends, it is not right that this should be so. 11 Does a spring give both good and bad water from the same source? 12 Can a fig tree, my friends, bear olives? Or a vine bear figs? No, nor can a brackish well give good water.
13 Who among you claims to be wise and intelligent? They should show that their actions are the outcome of a good life lived in the humility of true wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and a spirit of rivalry in your hearts, do not boast or deny the truth. 15 That is not the wisdom which comes from above; no, it is earthly, animalistic, demonic. 16 For where envy and rivalry exist, there you will also find disorder and all kinds of bad, worthless actions. 17 But the wisdom from above is, before everything else, pure; then peace-loving, gentle, open to conviction, rich in compassion and good deeds, and free from partiality and insincerity. 18 Justice is the harvest peacemakers will reap from seeds sown in a spirit of peace.