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. James 3:11-12
In yesterday's passage we were told that both blessing and cursing coming out of our mouth is not right. Today's passage helps us see something additional in regard to this dilemma. Not only is not right that the tongue is used both to bless and curse, but it makes no sense. Let's begin with the reference to a "fig tree." A fig tree is a fig tree. A fig tree does not produce olives. Next is the "grapevine." A grapevine is a grapevine. A grapevine does not produce figs. This makes sense, doesn't it? Both blessing and cursing coming out of our mouth makes no sense just like thinking a fig tree would produce olives or a grapevine would produce figs makes no sense.
Now let's consider the reference to a "spring of water." A spring of water is a spring of water. It provides fresh water. It does not provide "bitter water." If a water source provides "bitter water" it is not a "spring of water." If a tree we think is a fig tree produces olives, it is not a fig tree but an olive tree. If a tree we think is a grapevine produces figs, it is not a grapevine but a fig tree. All of this begs the question, "what am I?" A "spring of water" is an image that helps me understand "what I am." God wants you to be like a "spring of water" towards other people and not a "bitter water" source. Ephesians 4:29 says it this way, "When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you." (ERV)
If I am a source of "bitter water" to others, then I am not living according to who I am meant to be in Christ. As one who is in Christ I am meant to be a "spring of water" to other people where they can draw "fresh water." You are not a "salty spring" but you are a "spring of water." You are not a source of "bitter water" but you are a source of "fresh water" from which others can draw, drink, and be refreshed (blessed).
Lord, help me to believe the truth of today's passage. Produce in me the confidence that I am what you made me to be, a source of refreshment to others through words that bless and do not curse. Teach me the discipline of daily practice and training in the art of blessing others through my tongue. Deliver me from anything that is not in keeping with who I am in Christ. Amen!
Posted on Thu, July 9, 2015
by Alan Porter