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Chapter 3 of the Book of James

As you read this chapter of James keep the following questions in mind. You may even wish to write the questions down on a separate piece of paper before you begin. Allow yourself several lines between each question. When you have finished reading the chapter devote several minutes to your answers. Click on a question to get our interpretation.

1. Why are teachers important, and why must they be careful?

2. James makes some interesting observations about our tongues. Why do we need to control our tongues?

3. There is Earthly wisdom and there is Heavenly wisdom. How are they different or the same?

3:1Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment. 3:2For in many things we all stumble. If anyone doesn't stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. 3:3Indeed, we put bits into the horses' mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. 3:4Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. 3:5So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! 3:6And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna. 3:7For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and thing in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. 3:8But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 3:9With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God. 3:10Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 3:11Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water? 3:12Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.

3:13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom. 3:14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't boast and don't lie against the truth. 3:15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. 3:16For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. 3:17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 3:18Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

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