“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked”
Proverbs 25:26, NIV
Springs and wells are sources of pure water – water which quenches the thirst, satisfies the taste and is life-giving to all who drink. But if that life-giving water has become polluted or muddied, then it becomes undrinkable. It is no longer life-giving, but could even be life-threatening. When a river becomes polluted with, for example, industrial effluent, the fish in the river die. All the water is still there, but it’s what’s been added to the water that causes the problem.
In just the same way someone may have lived a righteous life and be known as a true believer, but if the stream of truth that comes from their mouth, or is evident in their life, has become polluted with deceptive beliefs, practices or ungodly living, then their life has become poison to those who ‘drink’ from that stream. They will be influenced by the pollutants and led astray into the same or similar sins. It only takes a small amount of poison in the water to do massive amounts of damage. In just the same way it only takes a small amount of deception to have the potential for leading many people astray.
No wonder Paul was so urgent in teaching his young disciple Timothy. He told him: “Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). The implication is that if we allow pollutants to affect our beliefs and our way of life, then the damage could be fatal – to us individually, and to all those who listen to the music of our lives and are tempted to follow our example!
The fact that we may even have years of godly living behind us, does not mean that we are incapable of being led astray. The enemy will work extra hard to pollute the life stream of those who are in a position to influence others. How important it is that we guard our hearts and are very careful about where we put down our feet on the road of life – only going where the Lord is leading and only doing those things that please Him.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the warnings that You have placed in Your Word. Thank You that you have put them there to help us stay on the right path throughout our days. I pray that You will cleanse me from my sins, Lord, and help me to keep the water of my life free from pollutants, so that it will always be fresh and life-giving to all with whom I relate or influence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.