James 3

Taming the Tongue

1 My brethren, a let not many of you become teachers, b knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For c we all stumble in many things. d If anyone does not stumble in word, e he is a 1 perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 2 Indeed, f we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.

5 Even so g the tongue is a little member and h boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And i the tongue is a fire, a world of 3 iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it j defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of 4 nature; and it is set on fire by 5 hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, k full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made l in the 6 similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a m fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? 7 Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Wisdom from Above

13 n Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have o bitter envy and 8 self-seeking in your hearts, p do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 q This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For r where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But s the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, t without partiality u and without hypocrisy. 18 v Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

  1. Cross References
    Matthew 23:8
    But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.
    Romans 2:21
    You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
    1 Timothy 1:7
    Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.
  2. Cross References
    Luke 6:37
    Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
  3. Cross References
    1 Kings 8:46
    When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near.
  4. Cross References
    Psalms 34:13
    Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
  5. Cross References
    Matthew 12:34 - 37
    Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
    James 3:2 - 12
    For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
  6. Cross References
    Psalms 32:9
    Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.
  7. Cross References
    Proverbs 12:18
    There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
    Proverbs 15:2
    The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
    James 1:26
    If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.
  8. Cross References
    Psalms 12:3
    May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, And the tongue that speaks proud things.
    Psalms 73:8
    They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily.
  9. Cross References
    Psalms 120:2
    Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue.
    Psalms 120:3
    What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue?
    Proverbs 16:27
    An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
  10. Cross References
    Matthew 12:36
    But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
    Matthew 15:11
    "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
    Matthew 15:18
    But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
  11. Cross References
    Psalms 140:3
    They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah
    Ecclesiastes 10:11
    A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different.
    Romans 3:13
    Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips".
  12. Cross References
    Genesis 1:26
    Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
    Genesis 5:1
    This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.
    Genesis 9:6
    Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7
    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.
  13. Cross References
    Matthew 7:16 - 20
    You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
  14. Cross References
    Galatians 6:4
    But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
  15. Cross References
    Romans 13:13
    Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
  16. Cross References
    Romans 2:17
    Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God.
  17. Cross References
    Philippians 3:19
    Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame - who set their mind on earthly things.
  18. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 3:3
    For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
  19. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 2:6
    However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
    1 Corinthians 2:7
    But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.
  20. Cross References
    James 2:1
    My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
  21. Cross References
    Romans 12:9
    Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
    2 Corinthians 6:6
    By purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love.
    1 Peter 1:22
    Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.
  22. Cross References
    Proverbs 11:18
    The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who ...
    Isaiah 32:17
    The work of righteousness will be peace, And th...
    Hosea 10:12
    Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy...
    Amos 6:12
    Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow there wit...
    Galatians 6:8
    For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh ...
    Philippians 1:11
    Being filled with the fruits of righteousness w...
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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