The Abundant Life
From Music and the Spoken WordDelivered By: Lloyd D. Newell
The appropriately named Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth. As a result, it cannot support life. Neither plants nor fish or other animals can receive any nourishment from its salty waters.
Approximately 100 miles to the north is another sea, the Sea of Galilee. Its fresh water has supported commercial fishing for over 2,000 years. Plants grow freely along its shoreline, and water is pumped from the Sea of Galilee to supply drinking water to nearby countries.
The difference between these two neighboring seas is that the Dead Sea has no outlet. Water flows in from the Jordan River, but no water flows out; it keeps every drop. By contrast, for every drop of water that the Sea of Galilee receives, it gives away in equal measure.
Long ago, author Bruce Barton, noting this difference, made the following observation: “The Sea of Galilee gives and lives. The other sea gives nothing. It is named the ‘Dead Sea.’ There are two [kinds of] seas. … There are two kinds of people.”1
Are we the kind of people who give—and live? Are other people strengthened, even enlivened, after spending time with us? Or do we drain the life out of others? If we find ourselves taking more than we’re giving, there are simple ways to reverse that trend. We can start today by finding someone to encourage, to help, or to uplift.
Especially at this Easter season, when we celebrate renewal and rebirth, when we rejoice in the promise of the abundant life offered by the Master who “went about doing good,”2 we might pause to remember that only in giving of ourselves do we truly live. The miracle of such giving is that the more we give to others, the more we have to give. If, however, we withhold compliments, praise, or good works, we feel depleted. So turn the tide in your favor, and give of yourself to others—one drop of kindness at a time.
1 In Clyde E. Nichols, Lift Up Your Eyes (2011), 274.
2 Acts 10:38.