ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 406


many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect
and could also control ourselves in every other way.
We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small
bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the
pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the
tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of
the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness,
corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set
on fire by hell itself.
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one
can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who
have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come
pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not
right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter
water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and
you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable
life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if
you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t
cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness
are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and
demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you
will find disorder and evil of every kind.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle
at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of
good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are
peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from
the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you
scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t
get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t
have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you
ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only
what will give you pleasure.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes
you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world,
you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have
no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed

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