GET TOGETHER- GETTING RID OF THE SALTY WATER
Jas 3:10-12 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Well this is my third go around at some type of word fast. In 2014 I did one from a devotional book titled The Tongue Fast. This is my second time to do The Forty Day Word Fast by Tim Cameron. In Cameron’s book we try to eliminate judgment, criticism, negativity, gossip, sarcasm, and complaining from our Christian journey. The next few weeks I am going to focus on some of these in our Get Together and pray that it will benefit you in some way. I am not suggesting that all of you are doing a lot of this, but sometimes salt water can kind of seep into where the fresh water is. I know that it happens to me from time to time because the Holy Spirit shows me when it does.
We live in a culture that often thrives on these six elements that I just mentioned. Jesus has called us to be a people that speak a different language that what many in the culture speak.
First, let’s look at judging. Before we go any further yes, God has a standard and yes God is the ultimate Judge. Sometimes when we make judgments we come to wrong conclusions. We also become bitter. And rather than praying for people we may begin to feel hostile toward them. Many times, we can be wrong in our judgments. In my truck right now, there is a white styrofoam cup setting in the cupholder. This morning when I left the house I made me a drink with almond milk, honey, and I poured cinnamon on top. If someone looked at that cup now with the cinnamon dried around the top they might make a judgment that I was dipping snuff, or chewing tobacco and that was my (pardon the expression) spit cup. That would have been a wrong judgment. Sometimes we judge people by the length of their hair, or other physical characteristics about them that lead us to wrong judgments
The next element that we want to eliminate is criticism. Certainly, as leaders there are times that we have to bring correction to people. But when we do it is good to point out what someone is doing good before you must bring correction. Then after you bring correction encourage them in the Lord. One area that we are quick to be critical in is leaders. Whether they be political leaders, government officials, church leaders, leaders where we are employed, or school leaders we can sometimes become very critical of them.
Here is a passage that I believe would help us to be less critical and less judgmental if we really lived by them. Mt 7:3-5 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Most times when we are looking at the speck in someone else’s eye it inhibits the Holy Spirit from working on the plank in our eye. This past week while I was at a school where I teach Old Testament I kept smelling something that smelled like sewage. I asked one of the students had there been a sewer line burst in their community. The student assured me that there hadn’t been. My first thoughts were that the student was too young to know what I was talking about Well I made a wrong judgment on that one. When I got to my car I noticed something on my floor mat. It was also on my shoe. The neighbor’s dog had left me a little present and I hadn’t realized that I had stepped in it on my way out that morning. Sometimes for all of us there may be something that is putting off a bad smell and it may be coming from us rather than from someone else.
Ask the Holy Spirit if there are areas in your life where your words are judgmental. Also ask Him to help you with those words and to refrain from words of criticism. I have a feeling that if we do that He will eliminate the salt water that has seeped in with prayer for those that we tend to judge, or criticize and that fresh water will flow out of our mouths in a more productive way for His Glory!
Let Us Pray
Lord sometimes we honestly do see some things that may need fixing. Lord help us not to judge, or criticize, but to pray for those that we would tend to judge, or to criticize. And Lord for all of us we know that we have some areas in our own lives that salt water has seeped into. Lord get the salt water out so that those rivers of living water can flow out of our bellies and through our tongues to a world that needs fresh water so much.
In Jesus Name
Thanks for loving us. We love all of you!