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Free Bible Version - James

James 3

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1My friends, not many of you should become teachers, because you know that we who teach will have a heavier responsibility in the judgment.
2All of us make mistakes in many ways. Anyone who doesn't make mistakes in what they say is truly a good person who can keep the whole body under control.
3We put bridles into the mouths of horses so that they'll obey us, and we can direct them wherever we want.
4Look at ships as well: even though they're very big and are driven along by strong winds, they're steered by a very small rudder in the direction the pilot wants to go.
5In just the same way the tongue is a very small part of the body, but it makes great boasts! Think how a big forest can be set on fire by a very small flame!
6And the tongue is a fire! The tongue is a world of evil among the parts of the body. It disgraces all you are as a person, and can burn down the whole of your life, since it is set on fire by Gehenna.
7People have tamed all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures,
8but no one can tame the tongue—it's an evil thing, hard to control, full of deadly poison.
9We use the same tongue to bless our Lord and Father, as well as to curse people who are made in God's image—
10blessings and curses come from the same mouth! Friends, it shouldn't be this way!
11Does a spring send both sweet and bitter water out of the same opening?
12My friends, a fig tree can't produce olives, and a vine can't produce figs, any more than a salt water spring can produce fresh water!
13Who among you has wisdom and understanding? Let their good lives demonstrate what they do—doing what is right with wise kindness and consideration.
14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't boast about it and don't lie against the truth.
15This kind of “wisdom” doesn't come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
16Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition you'll also find confusion and all kinds of evil practices.
17However, wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure, and it also brings peace. It is kind and open to reason. It is full of mercy and produces good things. It is genuine and not hypocritical.
18Those who sow peace will harvest the peace of what is truly good and right.