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James warns that the tongue is amazingly powerful!Let not many of youbecome teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.NOTE that when you are a teacher, people will hold you to a stricter judgment. It is so easy and inevitable that as you teach you will misspeak in some way. AND, your audience has difficulty remembering much of what you said, but they will not forget the mistakes you made in speaking. (I hate when that happens! This is why I continually say to myself, “Stick to your notes. Be careful of having a ‘bright idea’ in the middle of your teaching without thinking through the consequences!”) 

The tongue is so powerful-the power to bring on depression or to encourage contentment.

The tongue is insignificant, yet most important of all. For we all stumble in many ways.If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouthsso that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudderwherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yetit boasts of great things.The tongue is influential and inflammable. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!And the tongue is a fire, the veryworld of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of ourlife, and is set on fire by gehenna(the cursed garbage pit). 

It’s insubordinate.For every speciesof beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.Butno one can tame the tongue; it isa restless evil andfull of deadly poison.AND, it’s inconsistent. With it we blessourLord and Father, and with it we cursemen, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come bothblessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening bothfresh and bitter water?Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor cansalt water produce fresh.

If the tongue is good, there is nothing better. If it is bad, there is nothing worse. Watch your tongue!

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