1 Do not rely on your wealth, or say, "I have enough." 2 Do not follow your inclination and strength in pursuing the desires of your heart. 3 Do not say, "Who can have power over me?" for the Lord will surely punish you. 4 Do not say, "I sinned, yet what has happened to me?" for the Lord is slow to anger. 5 Do not be so confident of forgiveness that you add sin to sin. 6 Do not say, "His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins," for both mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger will rest on sinners. 7 Do not delay to turn back to the Lord, and do not postpone it from day to day; for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come upon you, and at the time of punishment you will perish. 8 Do not depend on dishonest wealth, for it will not benefit you on the day of calamity. 9 Do not winnow in every wind, or follow every path. 10 Stand firm for what you know, and let your speech be consistent. 11 Be quick to hear, but deliberate in answering. 12 If you know what to say, answer your neighbor; but if not, put your hand over your mouth. 13 Honor and dishonor come from speaking, and the tongue of mortals may be their downfall. 14 Do not be called double-tongued and do not lay traps with your tongue; for shame comes to the thief, and severe condemnation to the double-tongued. 15 In great and small matters cause no harm,
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect individual, able to control the entire body as well. 3 And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies. 4 Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. 5 So, too, the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. 8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. 11 A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.