Are you a swallower or a gargler?

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The sign I passed regularly didn’t usually catch my eye, but that day was different.

Most days, the business school sign shared the names of recent graduates who had gotten jobs with larger companies.

But that day the sign said:

“Some drink from the fountain of education and some gargle”

I rolled the words around in my head for a few minutes after reading them.  I could imagine the same words being used with a myriad of different topics.

Some drink from the fountain of experience and some gargle.

Some drink from the fountain of wisdom and some gargle.

Some drink from the fountain of relationships and some gargle.

Some drink from the fountain of discernment and some gargle.

Some drink from the fountain of self-discipline and some gargle.

Some drink from the fountain of faith and some gargle.

Some drink from the fountain of discipleship and some gargle.


I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point.  Do I drink or do I gargle?

Do I drink and let the refreshing goodness nourish me from the inside out or do I merely gargle and spit the good stuff down the drain?

I was a gargler for years.  I didn’t have the desire to put forth the effort to swallow.  In some ways, I was leery that what I was gargling would change me.  I didn’t like myself but was comfortable with where I was.

In some ways, I was too self-focused and shallow to even want the good stuff.  I guess you could even say immature and naive.  Ugh.

Sadly, garglers don’t grow or mature.  They slowly become malnourished and will try to gargle many different things to satisfy their thirst.

I’m thankful that God kept offering me Living Water.  A Living Water that promises to quench my thirst forever.  It was only when I finally sipped and swallowed that I came to life and began to grow.

God’s Living Water is His son, Jesus Christ, who not only rescued me from a life of sin and rebellion but is preparing a place for me in Heaven with Him.

Plain and simple, swallowing is an act of obedience and gargling is an act of disobedience.

Swallowing is being totally committed to what God has planned for me.  Gargling is spitting out what God has provided for me and denying His deity.  Basically saying that I know better than God.  Sounds harsh, I know, but let that roll around in your head for a bit.

I’m so thankful God has been teaching me to be a swallower.  I’ve even been known to guzzle occasionally when I come across a section of the Bible I can’t get enough of.

So as we close out this year, ask yourself if you are a swallower or a gargler.  Do you want to grow or are you content with your current state?  God doesn’t open our mouths and pour good stuff in.  We have to make the effort to grab it, sip it, and then swallow.

Lord, thank you for giving me visible lessons to teach me in the way you designed me to learn.  Forgive me for the years I spent gargling.  Thank you for being patient with me and giving me many chances to learn to swallow and be nourished by you and your Words.  You are a good, good Father.