James 3:2-10

Taming the Tongue

2 For d we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, e he is a perfect man, f able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put g bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet h it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And i the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, j staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, 1 and set on fire by hell. 2 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, k full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people l who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, 3 these things ought not to be so.

  1. Cross References
    1 Kings 8:46
    If they sin against you - for there is no one who does not sin - and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near.
    Proverbs 20:9
    Who can say, "I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin"?
    Ecclesiastes 7:20
    Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
    1 John 1:8
    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
  2. Cross References
    Matthew 12:37
    For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
  3. Cross References
    James 1:26
    If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
  4. Cross References
    Psalms 32:9
    Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
  5. Cross References
    Psalms 12:3 - 4
    May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts.
    Psalms 73:8 - 9
    They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
  6. Cross References
    Psalms 120:2 - 4
    Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.
    Proverbs 16:27
    A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.
  7. Cross References
    Matthew 15:18
    But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
  8. Cross References
    Psalms 140:3
    They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah
    Ecclesiastes 10:11
    If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.
    Romans 3:13
    "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
  9. Cross References
    Genesis 1:26
    Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.