James 3:10 My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it?
James here is talking about the things people say. He’s been going on about how much good and how much bad we do with our words. Speech is one of the basic attributes that make us human. We can convey ideas and express emotion in wonderful ways. We can also hurt one another deeply with our words. James’ point is that we shouldn’t have both these tendencies. Water, he says, is either good or bad, not sometimes one and sometimes the other. But we are torn people, and our words reflect this. We can be wonderfully kind and nurturing and shortly thereafter selfish and hurtful. Why is this? The biblical answer is that the good comes from being created in the image of God and the bad comes from being sinners, i.e. predisposed to wanting our own way no matter what the cost is to God or others. People may not buy into this explanation, but they seldom come up with a better one. Why are people the way they are? Why are you the way you are? Do we really need to be saved from ourselves? Listen to yourself and those around you this week and draw your own conclusion.