Removing the Dross

Have you ever had to polish silver? Perhaps your grandmother’s flatware for a fancy dinner or a necklace that may have tarnished a bit? It’s a tedious process but the end result is well worth it.

Proverbs 25:4 says, “Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel.” (NIV) The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines dross as the scum that forms on the surface of molten metal; or an impurity.

To God we can appear tarnished. We have flaws and impurities that need to be removed. Just as silver has tarnished over time or has gained impurities, so have we. We might not even realize it. Over time we can develop bad habits, turn away from our time alone with God, become lax on our daily bible readings, and more. Simply put: we tarnish.

Just as the silversmith removes the dross from the silver to produce a vessel, so does God with us. He polishes us, removes the impurities and refines us until all He can see is His own reflection in us. That is the goal: for Him to see Christ in us.

The process may be painful. He may remove parts of us that we’ve become accustomed to and don’t want to let go of. But trust Him. He knows what He’s doing. Just like the silversmith, He’s making a vessel out of us by removing the impurities.

When I’m going through a tough time, I try to remember this. I try picturing God seeing my filth and sin, and I picture Him refining me…removing all of the bad, so only He comes shining through. I want the old me taken away and the new me to reflect only Jesus.

Of course, I fail. I’m a sinful human. Learning the refining process wasn’t something I was excited about the first time I realized it was happening. I pray that when people look at me, they see Jesus. I pray I can encourage others to turn to Jesus, even with all of their sin and pain and for them to allow Him to remove their dross as well. He longs to use us as His vessels and He’s the only One Who can completely purify us.



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