A Salty Spring

Source : http://www.cbhministries.org/ForKids/KeysforKids/ReadListen.aspx?ID=9182...

"How about a hike up one of the mountain trails before dinner?" Mr. Charles called out to the boys in his fifth grade Sunday school class. This camping trip was a yearly event they had all looked forward to.

"Yes!" exclaimed several of the boys. They eagerly scrambled up and started out.

After hiking quite a while, they came across a spring of water. "My great-grandpa said that when he was a boy, he drank water from a spring in the woods behind their house," said Nathan. "Can we get a drink here?"

Mr. Charles shook his head. "Better not. The water may be okay, but I don't know," he said. A minute later, he added, "Besides, even if it's good, maybe there'd be enough fresh water for only one or two of you before it turns salty."

Nathan gave Mr. Charles a puzzled look. "If it's a freshwater spring, it wouldn't turn salty!" exclaimed Nathan. "A spring doesn't give two kinds of water."

Mr. Charles smiled. "That's exactly right," he agreed. "The Bible makes that point when it talks about controlling our tongues. The third chapter of James says that just like a spring doesn't give both fresh and salty water, the tongue of a person whose heart is filled with love for Jesus doesn't use both loving and unkind words."

Nathan was startled. He remembered angry words he had exchanged with Chad just that morning. Last week, I invited him to come camping with us, and he came. I even told him about Jesus, thought Nathan, but what I said today sure didn't show Jesus' love. He silently prayed, asking God to forgive him.

"Remember that words can sound very cruel," continued Mr. Charles. "Be careful about what you say--even when you're teasing. If you've been careless in that area, ask God and anyone you've hurt to forgive you. Ask God to help you make sure your words come from a pure source, not a salty one--not a critical, sarcastic attitude. Now, who needs a drink?"

"From this spring?" asked Nathan. "You said we shouldn't drink from it."

"No, not from this spring." Mr. Charles smiled. "From the bottles of water you brought along. Remember . . . drink good water and use good words."

"Oh, right!" exclaimed Nathan. And in his heart, he determined to find an opportunity to ask Chad's forgiveness before they got back to the campsite.

How About You?
Are there times when people are offended by something you say?Does your joking around sometimes sound biting and cruel? Ask God to help you be sensitive to the way other people feel. When you're tempted to make a sarcastic or critical remark--even if you're just teasing--examine it. Will it hurt someone who hears you? If so, think of something nice to say instead--and say it.

Today's Key Verse:
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)

Today's Key Thought:
Use words that don't cause hurt