“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
In Need of Softening, by Gini Kittle

Lately, our water softener hasn’t been working. When you live in northern Illinois a water softener is pretty important. Our ground water in this area is very “hard” because it has a high concentration of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals interfere with the action of soap as well as leaving a scaly residue anywhere the water dries. The effects of this are not pretty. The shower stall in our bathroom was twice as hard to clean this week because of lime build-up. My pretty colorful Fiesta Ware®dishes have been coming out of the dishwasher with white marks on them caused from the hard water! Our drinking glasses look dirty, and just today I put them all in a vinegar bath to get rid of the white residue that has quickly built up from not having soft water!

As I was thinking about how nice it is to have soft water, I began to think of how a water softener actually “softens water.” It is softened by salt pellets. The sodium in the salt replaces the other “harder” minerals in the water leaving it “soft.” That’s interesting because it tells us in
 Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be full of grace, seasoned with salt …” All that we say and do must come from a heart that has been seasoned — softened — by the grace it’s received.
Otherwise, we become “hardened.” Just as salt softens the water, we need to have hearts softened by the grace that has been poured into them — hearts that forgive one another easily, and don’t have a “residue build-up,” hearts that speak out the Word of God, spreading His love and rescuing those who are in need of God’s great grace.

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