I love water.
The majority of the time, when we go out to eat, I normally enjoy a glass of water with my meal. And I’m cheap in that sense and would rather spend more money on food and not a drink. I try to drink a gallon of water a day. It’s good for you and your body needs water to function properly. But have you noticed that not all water tastes the same? I’m not talking about restaurant water because most of the time that tastes like liquid metal. (I normally add a lemon which will slightly take away the metallic taste). Most bottled water tastes differently. I, for one, do not like Dasani water. I think it tastes strange. And normally, it’s the cheaper bottled water that tastes better than the expensive ones. I do enjoy Fiji bottled water, but most of the time I buy Purity brand bottled water whenever I buy from a convenient store.
My point is, some people think water is water, right? But it’s not all the same. Some have a bitter taste, some a metallic taste, and some are clean tasting (Yes, that is a taste). It’s the same way with believers and their words and actions. You would think that all Christians would talk and act the same, but they don’t. Many times, unfortunately, our words and actions can be bitter for those on the receiving end of them. I love the Proverb that says:
“The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions”–Proverbs 10:11
Our words are supposed to be a LIFE giving fountain. Water is truly life. Have you ever been so thirsty that you were desperate for water? That feeling when you finally are able to drink and fulfill your thirst is the feeling that people should feel whenever they are around us. Our words, our actions, and our behavior should literally bring life to people. They should refresh and sustain people.
As we continue to Work the Soil, we want to focus on another one of culture responsibilities; I Am a Well of Life. When it comes to BEING the culture; this one is super important. There are 3 things to remember when it comes to being that fresh, life giving fountain:
Stay Off the Gossip Train
I love this quote by Christine Cain; “If you didn’t see it with your own eyes, or hear it with your own ears, don’t invent it with your small mind or speak it with your BIG mouth!”
One of the enemy’s greatest weapons of mass destruction is our tongues. Jesus reminded us that what is in our hearts will eventually flow out of our mouths. A gossip is someone whose heart is either full of bitterness or anger. They thrive off of someone else’s negative news in order to conceal insecurity, fear, or bitterness. If you struggle with gossip, ask Jesus to cleanse your heart. Ask Him to show you where you need to forgive others or maybe ask forgiveness yourself.
Make Toxic People Uncomfortable
Are you the person that always seems to hear the latest? If so, toxic people may feel comfortable being around you. You may not be a person that necessarily spreads gossip, but are you the person that people enjoy sharing gossip? You should strive to live your life in such a way that toxic people don’t feel comfortable around you.
I can remember being in the Philippines and being warned not to drink the water. I successfully stayed away from drinking the tap water. But what I didn’t realize is that one day while enjoying a soft drink, I used ice in my glass. I totally blanked on realizing that the ice is the same water, it’s simply frozen. Guess who got sick? You may think it’s only a little thing to allow certain toxic people around you. But I promise that it will affect your fountain! You won’t have to avoid them if you’ll live your life being a life giving well. They will avoid you.
Run Your Own Race
My mama used to say it like this in the south; mind your own business, boy. It’s hard to get off track if you run your race with focus and keep your head down. We need more believers who are focusing on being the head and not the tail, living above and not beneath. Live above reproach, focus on being an example. Don’t be that person that blames other people for not being who you’re supposed to be. That’s idolatry and hypocrisy.
When you stay focused on who God is called YOU to be, then everything else will take care of itself. People will always make mistakes and fail you at times. You may even fail people at times. But we can’t live in the same cycle of bitterness, grudges, anger, and toxic conversation. It takes believers who are striving to be that well of life.
We can’t give what we don’t have, though. Where are you getting YOUR source of life giving water? The news and media? Your favorite celebrity? Your favorite TV show? If you continue to seek to drink from the wrong sources, you will continue to BE a wrong source for others. Don’t look to the world to find life, after all the great theologian, Woody the Cowboy said it best:
“Somebody poisoned the water hole!” 🙂
Take time and evaluate yourself today. Are you a life giving well? Are your words and actions bringing strength, encouragement, and love to others around you? Or are you a constant source of bitterness, gossip, complaining, and poison? Just because you’re a Christian, doesn’t mean that all wells are the same. Not all water tastes the same. Are you filled with the Living Water that flows into others’ lives? Don’t just be dirty, tap water today. Be that life giving Fiji. You just may refresh someone’s soul today.