How the Dead Sea Teaches Us to Encourage Others
The Dead Sea is an interesting place in the world for many reasons. Sometimes called the Salt Sea, it is a hypersaline lake on the border between Israel and Jordan in the Middle East. Its surface is over 1,300 feet below sea level. That means it is Earth’s lowest land elevation.
Now, hypersaline is just a fancy word for extra, extra salty. The Dead Sea contains high concentrations of sodium chloride (table salt) and other mineral salts, making it waaay saltier than the ocean!
Because of all these salts, the Dead Sea is a harsh place to live. In fact, not many creatures can survive there…that is why it is called the DEAD Sea! So fish and aquatic plants don’t live there, (though a few bacterial species and microbial fungi can).
Why is the Dead Sea so salty? Well, because it has such low elevation, all the rivers and streams in the area flow into it. As river and runoff water flows over the land, it dissolves salts and other minerals as it goes, dumping them into the Dead Sea. But here’s the kicker…there are no rivers that drain OUT!
In fact, the only way water is removed from the Dead Sea is through evaporation. But when water evaporates, it doesn’t take the dissolved materials with it. H2O just leaves them behind. And in this part of the world, the excessive heat allows for continual evaporation. Thus, the Dead Sea is getting saltier and saltier. Because it has no outward river flow, any salts that make their way into this body of water are stuck there.
So we could say that the Dead Sea continually receives but never gives anything away. It is hoarding its salts. Yet that creates a dead environment inside.
Do we do that? Are we like the Dead Sea, always receiving but never giving anything out? Think about this in regards to your relationship with your spouse, your children, or your friends. Are you constantly taking? Are you hoarding? Do you not have any “river outflow?”
Yes, it is important that we take time to fill ourselves with encouragement. We need inspiration (and even praise) by others. But when it comes to pouring out to others, we need to be intentional. It doesn’t come as easily to most of us. We need to be less self-centered and more others-centered.
Otherwise, we become like the Dead Sea. Filled up, but unable to support true life! Only by giving can we be truly fulfilled and have life-giving joy!
So don’t just take in…pour out to others today!