1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (Mt 23:8; Ro 2:20; 1Ti 1:7)2For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. (1Ki 8:46; Pr 20:9; Ec 7:20; Mt 12:37; Jas 1:26; 1Jo 1:8)3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. (Ps 32:9)4Look 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.5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! (Ps 12:3; Ps 73:8)6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (Ps 120:2; Pr 16:27; Mt 15:18)7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (Ps 140:3; Ec 10:11; Ro 3:13)9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. (Ge 1:26)10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.