James 3
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Taming the Tongue
(Psalm 64:1–10)

1My brothers, not many of you should choose to become teachers, knowing that you shall receive a stricter judgment. 2For we all offend in many ways. If anyone does not offend in word, he is a perfect man. And he is then able, as if with a bridle, to lead the whole body around. 3For so we put bridles into the mouths of horses, in order to submit them to our will, and so we turn their whole body around. 4Consider also the ships, which, though they are great and may be driven by strong winds, yet they are turned around with a small rudder, to be directed to wherever the strength of the pilot might will. 5So also the tongue certainly is a small part, but it moves great things. Consider that a small fire can set ablaze a great forest. 6And so the tongue is like a fire, comprising all iniquity. The tongue, stationed in the midst of our body, can defile the entire body and inflame the wheel of our nativity, setting a fire from Hell. 7For the nature of all beasts and birds and serpents and others is ruled over, and has been ruled over, by human nature. 8But no man is able to rule over the tongue, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9By it we bless God the Father, and by it we speak evil of men, who have been made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so! 11Does a fountain emit, out of the same opening, both sweet and bitter water? 12My brothers, can the fig tree yield grapes? Or the vine, figs? Then neither is salt water able to produce fresh water.

The Wisdom from Above

13Who is wise and well-taught among you? Let him show, by means of good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom. 14But if you hold a bitter zeal, and if there is contention in your hearts, then do not boast and do not be liars against the truth. 15For this is not wisdom, descending from above, but rather it is earthly, beastly, and diabolical. 16For wherever envy and contention is, there too is inconstancy and every depraved work. 17But within the wisdom that is from above, certainly, chastity is first, and next peacefulness, meekness, openness, consenting to what is good, a plenitude of mercy and good fruits, not judging, without falseness. 18And so the fruit of justice is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Catholic Public Domain Version

Section Headings Courtesy Berean Bible

James 2
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