Monday, June 17, 2019

The Bitter Fruits

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:20-21

Two men are travelling up a mountain.  One is on the north side of the mountain and the other on the south side. Each has a group of friends travelling with him.

The man on the north side complains.  The hill is too steep.  It makes his back hurt.  He is tired, he is thirsty, he wants to take a break, no one is helping him climb the mountain.  And as he goes, he pulls rocks from his backpack and places them in the path.  Then he complains again, and again.

The man on the south side travels up the same mountain with the same complications.  But instead, he encourages those with him, and sees the beauty of the path.  He takes the clear path, choosing to avoid the rocks and obstacles.  He travels lightly and makes sure those that follow can see the clear path he’s chosen.  He speaks good things, such as “We’re half way there!” “What beautiful wildflowers!”  “Smell that fresh air!”

Which team to do think will get to the top first?

As we go through life we carry many people with us.  The group changes day by day, but they’re always there.  If you choose to speak into the negativity of your journey, your life will be harder, and your burden heavier.  And those that travel with you will gain that same outlook of life that you’ve displayed in words.  But if you speak the positive, if you speak life into your journey and those that follow you, joy is born. 

The writer of Proverbs 18 says that from the fruit of your lips you will be filled.  Do you want to be full of an indigestion of complaints and worries, or do you want to be filled with joy?  “Oh, but my path is so much harder than everyone else’s”, you say.  Of course, it is!  You’ve made it harder by choosing to complain and bring everyone into your negativity. Stop throwing rocks out of your backpack.  Instead, drop the entire backpack!  Complaining is an ineffective strategy.

Sometimes we love talking too much, and because we talk out our complaints and gripes, living in the negative the whole time, we eat the fruits we created.  They are dirty rotten fruits from a bitterness that ruins everything it touches.  Indeed, silence will wilt the bitter vine! 

Complain less.  Find the good in everything – because it IS there.  The fruits of your words will be nourishment to your life and those around you - instead of poison. 

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