Water fountains can be seen in public places and are especially common in parks and city surroundings. A water fountain can be used for quenching one’s thirst, or it can serve the purpose of decorating a particular environment. Most who have looked at a fountain or drank from a fountain, understand that what comes from the fountain is based on its source. Water is usually the element that flows from the fountain to give us a pleasurable view, or to eliminate thirst.
Generally, the way fountains are created is to bring forth a flow of water from one source. Rarely if ever will you witness a fountain that brings forth multiple streams of fluid because a fountain uses one pump that is connected to one particular source. In the book of James chapter 3, the first part of this book makes reference to controlling the human tongue. The writer who is James doesn’t mention the tongue in the context of the organ itself but what this chapter mentions is that what we say or how we speak is quite corruptible.
Basically, James says in this chapter that the tongue is unruly as in it is the most uncontrollable part of our body. Here is what James says:
(NLT) “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.”
James alludes to the fact of our unruly speech when he says, “For if we could control our tongues.” In verses 3-5, James makes comparisons using various analogies to show that small things can inflict a massive amount of damage. He says the following in the latter part of verse 5 and verse 6:
(NLT) “But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”
What we say and how we say it can either give life or it can destroy. What James says in the above verses is that our speech has the ability to kill or destroy what is in the vicinity. The old adage of “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” is 100% false. The fact is that words do hurt because according to Proverbs 18:21, the power of life and death is in the tongue. You and I can literally destroy someone else or a situation based on the words that we speak.
Going further into this scripture, James not only says that our tongue is unruly, but it is duplicitous in that we often say one thing only to say something that is the complete opposite. James says in verse 9:
(NLT) “Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.”
This particular verse begins to set up the principle to be gained from this blog post and that is what each of our lives show forth unto God and unto others.
(NLT) “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.”
James says that for the person who is a Christian, it is the duplicity of our words which brings forth an image that is inconsistent. Basically, to be in Christ and to commit unrepentant sins as those who are in the world, it is incongruent with the message of what we as Christians profess. This is in part one of the problems with some who claim Christianity today. Basically, there are those who are labeled as hypocrites because they profess one thing and they do another.
In the context of this scripture, James is referring to our speech but this can be applied to our behaviors as well. How can someone who is in Christ and claims to have the love of God within their heart spew hatred and disdain for humanity? How can anyone who truly loves God commit sins and believe that the grace of God will continue to cover sinful living without consequence? How is it that we who are called to be separate from the world embrace the very sins that God says to shun?
The answer lies in the connection and this begs the question of, ‘What or who are you connected to?’ James asks the question, “Does a spring of water bubble out with both, fresh water and bitter water?” He says emphatically, “No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.” The fact is, whether you are in Christ or a sinner in the world, there isn’t an in-between.
For those of you who are in the world, you are exhibiting sinful behaviors because your life is connected to the evil and death that satan provides. Anyone who does not know Jesus Christ will sin unrepentantly because their connection is to satan and not to God through Jesus Christ. When we come into the knowledge of Christ and truly give our lives to Him, we are transformed.
The reason why many profess one thing in their lives and show a completely different disposition is because their lives are not truly connected to God. The Wellspring of life, the Living Water is Jesus Christ. This means that if you are connected to Him, then your life will begin to bring forth Living Water. John 7:38 says:
(NLT) “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'”
In that scripture, Jesus is speaking and He is saying that anyone who believes in Him, rivers of living water will flow from the heart. Basically, because Jesus Christ is the Living Water, then He provides the water which means that in our connection to Christ, His water begins to flow from our heart.
What you and I speak on a daily basis is indicative of what is within our heart. If someone is constantly speaking words that are filled with anger, hate, depression, and anxiety then it means that their heart is full of what comes out. If your heart is full of joy, peace, kindness, and love, then your heart is full of what you speak.
There is only one side or the other as James illustrates to us. You cannot truly be in Christ and yet your words or actions profess a different position. It is the same as someone who is in the world. A person who is of the world cannot truly be under the influence of satan and yet profess to be a follower of Christ. For all of us to please God, our lives must be a harmonic symphony that is aligned with God’s commands and our connection to God through Christ.
Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord & Savior? If not, your life cannot be pleasing unto God. If you are living in unrepentant sin, there is a high cost that you will pay. However, the beauty is that Jesus paid the cost on the cross so that you wouldn’t have to pay it. Accept Jesus Christ and let the rivers of Living Water flow from your heart. Such water only produces life rather than the death that sin brings. Only in Christ can we have life abundantly and life eternally.