I've heard this story a few times in just the last few weeks. I love the point that this analogy makes.....are we the Dead Sea, only receiving, stagnant and unclean OR do we fit the other description? FRESH, receiving, over flowing and pouring into others?
THERE were two seas in Palestine. One is fresh, and fish are in it. Splashes of green adorn it's banks.Trees spread their branches over it and stretch out their thirsty roots to sip its healing waters. The River Jordan makes this sea with sparkling water from the hills. So it laughs in the sunshine. And men build their houses near to it, and birds their nests; and every kind of life is happier because it is there.
The River Jordan flows south into another sea. Here is no splash of fish, no fluttering leaf, no song of birds, no children's laughter. Travelers choose another route, unless on urgent business. The air hangs heavy above it's water, and neither man nor beast nor fowl will drink. What makes this mighty difference in these neighbour seas? Not the River Jordan. It empties the same water into both. Not the soil in which they lie; not in the country round about. This is the difference. The sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the Jordan. For every drop that flows into it another drop flows out.
The giving and the receiving go on in equal measure. The other sea is shrewder, hoarding its income jealously. It will not be tempted into any generous impulse. Every drop it gets, it keeps. The Sea of Galilee gives and lives. This other sea gives nothing. It is names the Dead. There are two kinds of people in the world. WHICH KIND ARE YOU?