1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2To be sure, we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a fully mature man, able to bridle his whole body as well. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they will obey us, we also guide the whole animal. 4And consider ships: Although they are very big and are driven by fierce winds, yet they are guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot wants to go. 5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it also boasts great things. Consider how a little flame can set a large forest on fire! 6And the tongue is a fire. It is set among the parts of our body as a world of unrighteousness that stains the whole body, sets the whole course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell. 7Indeed, every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is being tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8But no one is able to tame the human tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people, who are made in the likeness of God. 10Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. 11A spring does not pour out both fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12Can a fig tree bear olives, my brothers, or can a grapevine produce figs? A salt spring cannot produce fresh water either.
4The Lord God gave Me a tongue like the learned, an instructed tongue, so I know how to sustain the weary with a word. He wakes Me up morning by morning. He wakes up My ears so that I listen like the learned. 5The Lord God opened My ear, and I Myself was not rebellious. I did not turn back. 6I submitted My back to those who beat Me, and My cheeks to those who pulled out My beard. I did not hide My face from disgrace and from spit. 7The Lord God will help Me, so I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have made My face hard like flint. I know that I will not be put to shame. 8The One who will acquit Me is near! Who can accuse Me? Let us take our stand. Who can pass judgment on Me? Let him approach Me. 9Look, the Lord God will help Me. Who then can declare Me guilty? Look, all of them will wear out like a garment. A moth will consume them. 10Who among you worships the Lord and listens to the voice of His servant? Anyone who walks in darkness and who has no bright light—let him trust in the name of the Lord, and let him lean on his God.