by: FCC Staff
"Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross are burning lips and a wicked heart."
What an ugly picture our teacher paints for us today. Now, for those of you who have never dealt with smelting metals to turn them into a usable material this may mean very little, so let me draw a slightly different picture.
Many years ago, as a boy, I was in a place called "Job Corps." At one point while on kitchen duty it was my job to prepare the raisins for the cookies. In order to do that, I would open and dump large containers of raisins into pots of water. Why, you ask? So the bugs would float to the surface! As I stirred, more and more bugs would rise to the surface, and I would skim them off the top until the cook would come to dump the raisins in a strainer. Off he'd go to make the cookies. Yum!
Basically, the teacher today is saying, burning lips and a wicked heart are like those strained out watery bugs that had been skimmed off, glued all over your earthen vessel. He's not talking about using those yummy raisins.
You see, in working with precious metals of gold and silver, the more you heat and stir it the more dross comes out. What is dross? It's worthless waste matter, its scum. It's the impure filth that is otherwise trapped inside that must come out to purify the metal.
So the one with a wicked insincere heart with lips ready, even burning, to tell lies and gossip may be dressed up, thinly veiled or disguised as real silver, as being spoken in love, concern, or helpfulness.
It's even been done brazenly in the midst of a prayer group, dressed in silver dross, as a caring and helpful prayer request then turning into gossip busy-bodying. Suddenly, you realize the prayer request has been going on for ten minutes and you not only know about the sprained ankle you were going to pray about, but you now know all about how the person she’s talking about got it…getting home after midnight, and Lord knows who she was with, but Betty down the street said that Jack on the corner saw a boy later getting out and….oh and, poor ol' Sally needs more prayer because ever since…well you know?
The whisperer is at it again.
As Paul writes, "At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention." 1 Timothy 5:13
A person of faith must be willing to kindly but firmly remind those present that yes, the Lord does know. So let's get back to just the ankle, shall we? Even if it causes some embarrassment for the moment. Stop the whisperer in their tracks and don’t let the morsels enter your soul.
Let us set our sights on the things above, today. Remembering the word of the Lord that says, "Put aside anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed…" (Colossians 3:8-9)
Prayer for today: Father, this is our sincere prayer today as we are being renewed in the likeness of your Son, in an ongoing way. Strengthen us in our minds, our hearts, and all our strength today, loving you with our whole beings.Remembering that what you've done for each one of us you've also done for all those we will meet, or even think of today. Help us think rightly and justly about all those you love. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, with thanksgiving and praise. Amen