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The Tainted Tongue

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.

James 3:10-12 tells us, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

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.

So what will we do? Will we choose to be reflections of “The Living Water,” or will we damage others with our words?

Even Deeper: 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, seek them out.

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Prayer: 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.

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