Google+ 11/07/13 Let's Be Fresh Water, Not Salt Water!

James 3:8-12

 

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.

 

Today in part ten of our eighteen-part devotion series entitled, "Water, Water, Everywhere!" we listen to the half-brother of Jesus talk to us about a very important concept.  James lived with Jesus and walked with Him during His entire earthly ministry.  He watched everything Jesus did.  Yet, James never believed in Jesus as the Son of God until after His resurrection.  That, coupled with several other reasons, may be why we refer to the book of James as the "Proverbs" of the New Testament.  James seeks to share important truths with the persecuted Jews of the time to allow them to grow in their faith.  Today's lesson deals with literally "talking out of both sides of our mouths!"  James makes the point that you can't praise God and curse God out of the same mouth.  James classifies the tongue as inherently evil.  James encourages us to evaluate everything that comes out of our mouth by using a "water" comparison.  Salty and fresh water would have been a relevant and stark example to this Biblical group of people.  Remember there were no osmosis or distillation processes available to these people.  Fresh water came from springs.  Salt water came from the ocean.  There were obvious differences in what they were used for and salt water could never quench anyone's thirst!  Finally, James points out that fig trees cannot produce olives and grapevines do not produce figs.  Now, for the big finish and the part we probably don't want to admit or hear.  Our tongue will always give our heart away.  As a pastor, I have been in many hospital rooms immediately prior to people going into surgery.  As the "happy juice" is being administered, I am often warned, by the patient I have just prayed for, about what they might say "under the influence."  During these times, the patient's true heart is shown.  I have had people speak about uncontrollable love for Jesus, me, their families, and even their pets!  It is truly a precious moment to see the expression on their faces and the unbridled joy they exhibit.  I have also experienced the anger that is unleashed by the removable of all inhibitions.  We can't cover up our true heart forever.  If we are full of "brine," it will show at the most inopportune times.   Listen to James today. We need to examine our hearts and make sure we are not a fig tree trying to produce olives and "Let's Be Fresh Water, Not Salt Water!"