My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3:10-12)
I really like Pepsi. It’s my favorite soft drink. When I’m thirsty, I love to buy a 20-ounce so I can carry my Pepsi around all day. But I remember a time last December when my Pepsi wasn’t as refreshing as it should have been. I was at a friend’s house studying and reached for my 20-ounce Pepsi. Unfortunately, one of my friends had dumped a couple of tablespoons of salt into my drink. What was once cool and refreshing, now tasted vile. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of that salty taste. It lingered with me for the rest of the day.
Pepsi makes many versions of their drink. They have Diet Pepsi, Wild Cherry Pepsi and even Pepsi One. But they will never make a Pepsi Salt. It would be damaged goods, tainted material; no one would ever buy it. Some things just don’t go together.
James says something similar. You can’t praise someone one day and then turn around and slander him the next. Forgiveness may be given, but the pain is not easily forgotten. Just like the salt in my Pepsi, hurtful words can be pretty vile. They linger.
Take inventory of the words you have spoken in the last day or two. Is there anyone who may still be suffering with the painful lingering of your words? If so, what will you do? Will you choose to be reflections of “The Living Water,” or will you damage others with your words?
God, I want my words to be a force of healing, not of destruction. As my words remain, may they be a lingering of grace and not of pain.