Back in the early 90’s, there was a trend of gold, coin rings with a panda on them. Some of you may remember them. I wanted one of those panda rings so bad! But, growing up, my family did not have a lot of money. I was the baby of three kids. We got clothed and fed but did not get a lot of fancy extras.
While on vacation in Branson, I found a replica in one of the knickknack stores for a significantly less amount than a real one. I was so excited when my dad agreed to buy it. Finally, I would fit in and be a part of the trend. No one would know that it wasn’t real, right?
After a few weeks of wearing it, I noticed my finger was always green. You know, how fake gold/jewelry will do your skin. Imagine the dismay and embarrassment of my finger being green. All of my friends would know that my ring was fake because of the mark it left! I no longer wanted to wear the ring because it was telling on itself.
Here are a few things that will happen with fake gold:
1. If it comes in contact with water, it turns away from it’s original state. The color will change and it loses it’s shine.
2. Fake leaves a mark, telling of it’s counterfeit nature.
3. It can potentially embarrass you.
Gold refining is a process that involves recovering gold metal from gold ore and converting it to pure gold, free from impurities. How does that purification process happen? With fire. Without the fire, it’s just worthless metal painted gold to appear real. Real gold, however, can stand against the elements and still hold to it‘s true nature.
People are same. Some people appear to be “gold” only to reveal themselves to be far from it. The mark that they leave on another’s life shows that they are not the pure nature that God intended. The Bible tells us in Luke 12:2, “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.”
Are we to reveal their fake nature? How about we pray that God will reveal what needs to be seen instead. What if God revealed our trash every time? I believe we should show the people around us the love of God regardless of how they choose to act. Colossians 3:12-14 tells us, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Is it easy for our flesh at times to let things slide? Absolutely not. But, it is what God would have us to do.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
You may feel like you’re going through the fire right now. Life can deal us the most terrible hand of cards at times. Death doesn’t ask if it is a good time to take our loved ones, money doesn’t just grow on trees and relationships aren’t always rosy. When the people around us know that we’re a Christian, they watch us to see how we handle ourselves during tough times. The “fire” may not feel good. Have faith in knowing that God is working in ALL things, even the bad, for our good (Romans 8:28).
Fire draws out all the imperfections and leaves gold in a purer form than before. Don’t dread the fire. It is making you perfected.