1我的弟兄姊妹，不要个个当教师，因为你们知道，我们为人师表的将受到更严格的评判， 2因为我们在许多方面难免有过失。如果谁在言语上没有过失，他就是纯全的人，也能在各方面保持自制。 3我们如果把嚼环放在马嘴里，便可以使它顺服，驾驭它。 4一艘大船在遭遇暴风吹袭时，船身虽然庞大，但舵手只要操纵一个小小的舵，就能随意驾驶它。
看啊，小火星能点燃大森林。 6舌头就是火，是我们身体上的一个充满邪恶的世界，能玷污人的全身，足以毁掉人的一生，它是从地狱点燃的火。 7自然界中的各类走兽、飞禽、爬虫、水族都可以被驯服，也已经被人类驯服了， 8但无人能驯服自己的舌头，因为舌头是个无法控制的邪恶之物，充满了致命的毒气。 9我们用舌头来赞美主和天父，也用舌头来咒诅照着上帝的形象被造的人。 10赞美和咒诅竟然从同一张嘴里发出来。我的弟兄姊妹，这是不应该的！ 11同一个泉源能涌出甜苦两样水吗？ 12我的弟兄姊妹，无花果树能结出橄榄吗？葡萄树能结出无花果吗？一个咸水泉必流不出甜水来。
13你们当中谁是有智慧、有见识的呢？请他带着来自智慧的谦和，在善行上表现出来。 14但如果你们心怀苦毒的嫉妒和自私的野心，就不要自夸说有智慧，也不要违背真理去撒谎。 15这种智慧并非来自天上，而是从世俗、私欲和魔鬼来的。 16哪里有嫉妒和自私的野心，哪里就会有混乱和各样的恶事。
Control What You Say
1My brothers and sisters, most of you shouldn’t become teachers. That’s because you know that those of us who teach will be held more accountable. 2All of us get tripped up in many ways. Suppose someone is never wrong in what they say. Then they are perfect. They are able to keep their whole body under control.
3We put a small piece of metal in the mouth of a horse to make it obey us. We can control the whole animal with it. 4And how about ships? They are very big. They are driven along by strong winds. But they are steered by a very small rudder. It makes them go where the captain wants to go. 5In the same way, the tongue is a small part of a person’s body. But it talks big. Think about how a small spark can set a big forest on fire. 6The tongue is also a fire. The tongue is the most evil part of the body. It makes the whole body impure. It sets a person’s whole way of life on fire. And the tongue itself is set on fire by hell.
7People have tamed all kinds of wild animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures. And they still tame them. 8But no one can tame the tongue. It is an evil thing that never rests. It is full of deadly poison.
9With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. With our tongues we curse people. We do it even though people have been created to be like God. 10Praise and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it shouldn’t be this way. 11Can fresh water and salt water flow out of the same spring? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives? Can a grapevine produce figs? Of course not. And a saltwater spring can’t produce fresh water either.
Two Kinds of Wisdom
13Is anyone among you wise and understanding? That person should show it by living a good life. A wise person isn’t proud when they do good deeds. 14But suppose your hearts are jealous and bitter. Suppose you are concerned only about getting ahead. Then don’t brag about it. And don’t say no to the truth. 15Wisdom like this doesn’t come down from heaven. It belongs to the earth. It doesn’t come from the Holy Spirit. It comes from the devil. 16Are you jealous? Are you concerned only about getting ahead? Then your life will be a mess. You will be doing all kinds of evil things.
17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is pure. That’s the most important thing about it. And that’s not all. It also loves peace. It thinks about others. It obeys. It is full of mercy and good fruit. It is fair. It doesn’t pretend to be what it is not. 18Those who make peace plant it like a seed. They will harvest a crop of right living.