polishing the silver
"The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:3
Have you ever had one of those “A-HA” moments while working on a menial task? Well, I had one of those moments recently…while polishing some silver dishes placed throughout our home.
We have several trays that have been given to us by family members as well as pieces we have bought ourselves. The items are great display pieces and can be used for practical purposes as well. Over time, these glittering objects become tarnished and begin to look discolored and in need of a good polish.
While I was polishing these pieces, I had a thought: “Am I not just like these dingy trays? Don’t I get ‘cleaned up’ during a church service, Bible study, or prayer time and then start to become ‘tarnished’ and ‘dirty’ again if I am not constantly ‘polishing’ myself and giving everything in my life over to the Lord?”
After I polish the silver, the pieces seem to shine for a little while and then suddenly need immediate attention because they have gotten so dirty. Typically, we do not even notice the items discoloring until they are extremely tarnished. Doesn’t that happen to us in life? We get all “shined-up” after a worship service or sermon and then continue our days on autopilot until realizing we are “tarnished” once again?
Polishing silver can be a dirty process. Oftentimes, I have noticed that residue can be found under my fingernails from the cleaning. Polishing also takes effort. Sometimes you must scrub spots vigorously to get the items clean and shiny again. Also, some spots may be harder to clean than others. Isn’t this how it goes with our own dirty and tarnished lives?
Some tarnished (sinful) spots are easy to remove and address, but other spots can be very difficult to purify and make clean. It takes work to polish the sin from your life and sometimes the polishing process can leave you dirty or exhausted from your efforts. Praise God that He makes all things new and will not leave you in your mess or exasperated state!
According to the dictionary, “tarnished” means stained, tainted, or spoilt. Every person has been “tarnished” with sin, but praise Jesus we can be “polished” and made new again because of Christ’s saving work on the cross! Once we have accepted Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our life, our future in Heaven is sealed, but we still face the daily “tarnishing” that comes from living in this fallen and sinful world.
This line of thought brought me deeper into the “polishing” analogy. Thinking more on the topic, I recalled a passage of scripture which states:
“7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7-9
Friends, Jesus is the only way to purify our hearts. THE ONLY WAY. There is a song called “Refiner” sung by Maverick City Music that I love (although the Prestonwood Choir version is my favorite). A part of the song that always touches my heart is listed below. I encourage you to find this song and listen to its message!
“Clean my hands Purify my heart I wanna burn for You Only for You Take my life As a sacrifice I wanna burn for You Only for You”
Life is hard. The adversary is crafty. I am a “tarnished” human being. BUT the Lord can still use me for His glory and “polish” me for His service. He can also do the same for you! In closing, I pray this verse from Psalm 51:10 saturates your heart and encourages you to “polish your silver”, too!
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”