In Israel, there are two major bodies of water: the Sea of Galilee (a.k.a. the Kinneret) and the Dead Sea (though both are really lakes). Although they are in the same country and connected by a common river (the Jordan), the two couldn’t be more different. The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River and teaming with life. It contains 27 species of fish, some found nowhere else in the world. Its sweet waters serve as the heart of the water supply system for Israel. It’s shores are lush with vegetation.
The Dead Sea, on the other hand, didn’t get its name for nothing. There are no fish, no fishermen, no vegetation on its shores… It’s twice as wide and almost four times as long as the Sea of Galilee, but the Dead Sea is toxic and bitter. So much so that there is no life in it or around it.
Why? The Sea of Galilee receives nutrients and water from the Jordan River. It then empties into the Jordan River, which begins again at the lake’s south end. The Jordan then takes the nutrients throughout the Jordan River Basin, snaking 200 miles before it reaches the Dead Sea. But that’s where it all ends. Nutrients from the Dead Sea stay in the Dead Sea. It doesn’t share any of its wealth with the valley below it. Seven million gallons of water evaporate from the lake daily in the hot desert environment, and the water that’s left is so mineral-rich that it can’t support life. Scientists estimate that it has a mineral concentration between 26% and 35%.
The two bodies of water serve as a good metaphor for a spiritual principle. When you share your gifts and resources freely, you receive much more in return. Whatever you jealously clutch and keep for yourself stagnates and eventually chokes the life out of you.
“Sea of Galilee people” have an abundance mentality. They know that if they give freely, there will always be more coming their way. They never worry that the supply of blessings will dry up. “Dead Sea people” have a scarcity mentality. They fear that sharing their riches will make them poorer. What they don’t understand is that the only reason they were given the gifts and resources in the first place was so that they would pass them along.
If you want to keep it, share it.