Scripture Reading | Proverbs 25:25-26
25 Good news from a distant land
is like cold water for a weary person.
26 A righteous person giving in to the wicked
is like a contaminated spring
or a polluted fountain. 
Sometimes the Bible is intensely practical. This is especially the case in the Proverbs. These verses give a wide range of general guidelines for living in the way of wisdom.
These two verses seem like an odd pairing. That is, they don’t seem particularly connected apart from the use of the imagery of water. But I believe the collector of these proverbs is clever in his sequencing of these words of wisdom. Each proverb paints a picture of something unexpected.
There is great joy when an old friend from far back or far away reaches out to share something good. When I graduated from High School I spent about six months overseas working with a missions organization. For part of this time, I was working with one other person to help start a church in Kuching, East Malaysia. It was lonely work with fruit coming very slowly. I remember receiving letters that would come written on thin international stationary (way before the internet). The surprise of receiving these was truly like cold water for a weary soul.
The surprise in the second proverb is, well, the opposite of good news. When people we believe to be role models violate their convictions, it is devastating. I wonder how many people look at the Christian church and its adherents as a polluted fountain because we so often give in to all sorts of other agendas. This is the opposite of good news.
Cold water versus a polluted fountain. Which will we be?
I would like to invite you to take a risk. John Wimber said faith is spelled r-i-s-k. Take a moment and invite the Holy Spirit to bring to mind an old friend that you’ve lost touch with. When this person comes to mind, ask the Holy Spirit to give you a special word of encouragement for them. It might be a simple blessing, an affirmation of something about who they are, or it may be a special memory that you want to remind them of. Find a way to reach out them and share these thoughts with them. I believe you can be a significant blessing through this unexpected gesture.
Let me also invite you to do some soul searching. Is there a time when you’ve been a polluted fountain? Is there some way you’ve been giving in to things that violate your faith in Jesus? This is not about shame but rather allowing God’s grace to set us on the right path. Simply confess to Jesus, turn from your mistakes, and receive his mercy.
Jesus, we want to have living water bubbling up inside of us and out to the world. Use me today to be a cup of cold water to a weary soul. Direct me and give me courage.
Forgive me for the times I’ve been a polluted fountain. I humbly ask for your forgiveness and turn from my sinful ways. I receive your grace today.
Prayer for the Week
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.