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Friday, April 8, 2011

Leaky faucets cost us plenty!

 1 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
 2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense. 
(Proverbs 15:1-2)

Leaky faucets get our attention - especially in the stillness of the night when all we can hear is the incessant drip-drip-drip!  There is a tremendous amount of waste in what a leaky faucet can cost us in the course of time.  Conservative estimates tell us that between 5 and 10 gallons of water is lost each and every day by one leaky faucet in our homes.  Imagine how much "relational waste" occurs with the leaky faucet of an uncontrolled tongue!

It is a joy to be the recipient of gentle words - they bring healing, turn away anger, and even calm emotional upset.  They are the basis of relationships that are solid and heart-committed.  "Drippy faucets" in relationships are like those that use gossip to "one-up" another - sharing without discretion things that are none of their business or that should have been maintained in the confidence of relationship.  

"Drippy faucets" leave signs of their presence - but not good ones.  Have you ever seen a sink where a faucet has been dripping for a long time?  In the sink, there is a tell-tale sign that the faucet needs repair - little rings of lime, rust, etc. building up in a fashion that "paints" the image of the leak.  Unless that "drippy faucet" is fixed, it will continue to leave deeper and more permanent damage in its path.

Yesterday, we explored the "building of our household" and reviewed that there are various building materials that go into building a solid household (good relationships).  It is equally important to maintain what is built - but we often don't do anything about problems until they cause us some problems.  It has to be costing us something before we finally break down and fix it!

When we begin to lose sight of the small things, like a drippy faucet, we may not know the damage being caused until it is too late.  When we see our water bill creeping up each month, we become suspicious that we may have a leak.  When we see the outline of lime in the sink, we might begin to think we should direct some attention toward fixing the leak.  But...when it keeps us up nights, we finally do something about that leak!

It is equally important that we deal with the "leaky faucets" in our relationships.  If we are one - it is time for an overhaul of our "internal plumbing" to get that leak under control.  If we are being "dripped on" by one, it is time to call attention to the leak!  Consider the power of your words - don't be a leaky faucet!