Water: Fresh or Salt?

Joshua Schied

READ : James 3:10-18

Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? (v. 11)

Have you ever tried to fill your cup with fountain soda at a restaurant only to find out that the syrup is gone and your cup is filling with carbonated water instead? The sweet taste of soda is hijacked by the salty taste of stale fizz. For me, that moment is less than satisfying. I seldom drink soda, but when I do, it’s because I am craving a special treat. I am beyond disappointment when my cup fills with plain seltzer water.

In today’s Scripture, James shares his discontent with Christians who don’t seem to be living up to their identity in Christ. He writes of these Christians, “from the same mouth come blessing and cursing” (v. 10). For James, blessing and cursing should be mutually exclusive. One cannot do them both. In the same way, water can be either fresh or salty, but not both. Our witness to the world is weakened when we spend most of our time judging and cursing.

James encourages us to have consistency in the witness of our lives: “peaceable, gentle . . . full of mercy and good fruits” (v. 17). When we consistently pour out the fresh water of our heart in mission to the world, God will reap a “harvest of righteousness” (v. 18). What kind of water springs forth from the well of your soul?


Merciful God, forgive us for the times when the testimony of our lives is indistinguishable from the world.