“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
Proverbs 10:11 (NIV)
This week I’ve been battling a sore throat, so when I dropped off Caroline for one of her classes, instead of staying at the school where I usually wait, I decided to drive to the UAH duck pond and read in my car there until her class was over. During this time, I was facing the pond and could watch the water fountain constantly pouring forth its water. It’s really relaxing to watch fountains, and it’s especially relaxing to listen to their rhythmic sounds.
The amazing thing about a fountain spraying its spouts high into the air is that it never runs out of water. It continually pours forth as long as it draws water from its source, like a pond or lake. In Proverbs 10:11, Solomon compares the words of the righteous to a fountain, a fountain of life. From this verse, we gain two encouragements to speak positively:
- Our words are constantly flowing, and we can either bubble over positive words or spew out negative words.
2. When our words are positive, they build up (bring life to) others, and when they are negative, they tear them down.
If your words could be displayed as fountain, what would your fountain look like? Would it be muddy, splashing dirt on others because the source from which it draws water is polluted with criticism and negativity or trickle forth a small stream only here and there, because it lost connection with its source? Or would your words look like a splashing, clean water fountain that never loses its energy because it is constantly drawing from a source that is clean and full of life?
Our words are important. They can bring “life” or “death” to others (Proverbs 18:21). Can you recall a time when someone said just the right thing to you at the right time? How did it make you feel? This person gave you a gift, something as beautiful as an “apple of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
On the flipside, has someone ever said something harsh to you? Harsh words are like piercing arrows (Proverbs 12:18), and the wounds they leave are often hard to heal. How many of us still remember the mean things kids said to us when we were on the playground in elementary school?
If your words are like the Proverbs 10:11 fountain of life, keep spouting forth! If your fountain isn’t bringing life to others, pray for wisdom to discern what’s going on with your water source (your heart). Ask the Lord to help you root out the negative attitudes and replace them with positive ones. This is a first step to producing words that nourish others (Proverbs 10:21). Let the waters pour forth, and speak life!