If I were you….
Proverbs 25:4 – “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”
How many times in your life have you heard the phrase, “If I were you?” It seems to be used most often when the possibility of revenge is present. You know what I’m talking about. There always seemed to be someone conveniently placed in the vicinity to tell you, “If I were you, I wouldn’t let them do that to me.” How is it that the wrong person is oftentimes in the right place and ready to give us bad advice?
I am sure that many brothers and sisters have made critical mistakes because they followed bad advice. Many are in prison right now because of bad advice. Many loving homes have been divided due to bad advice. Now, if we could have removed these brothers and sisters from that bad advice, they probably would not have wound up with a “bad harvest” or negative outcome. Maybe their marriages would have been saved or maybe they would have never seen the down side of what they saw or experienced.
Our week’s text instructs us to “[t]ake away the dross (impurities) from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel from the refiner.” In other words, if we take out the impurities, we’ll wind up with an item that is stainless, dustless, dirt-free, taint-free, clean, and unpolluted. Now after all the impurities have been removed, we are told “and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” It is at this point that we are finally usable to God. But what does it take to get to this point? The only thing that can remove dross from silver is fire.
As Christians too have FIRE that we can submit ourselves to, which will help to remove the impurities from our lives.
(F)orgiveness – This not only consists of forgiving others, but forgiving ourselves as well. We need to learn how to apply forgiveness so that we can move on with our lives and not stay stuck in the past or keep reliving that “bad” experience over and over.
(I)nspection – The measuring stick for our lives should be the word of God and as we should inspect ourselves consistently by His word. As we align ourselves with God’s word, we will find ourselves transformed into a being that is more like our Father and less like the enemy.
®epentance – This is when we turn from doing things our way and do things God’s way. This isnot just asking God for forgiveness. This is when we take actions to live the God style life and not just hope to “do better.”
(E)ndurance – After repenting, we determine in our hearts never to turn back to the way we used to be having a “stick to the word of God no matter what” attitude. Quitting and giving up are not options at our disposal. We fight the good fight of faith until there is “no more fight to fight.”
By submitting ourselves to the FIRE, when we are approached by the “If I were you” we will not let pride lead our actions. We will not lash out at others because of the pain from the past. Instead, we come forth as a work of the Father Himself that is pure, complete, and whole, and as vessel that God can and will use mightily!