Removing The Waste!

Removing The Waste!

Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel; remove wicked officials from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness. Proverbs 25:4,5 NIV

In order for a silversmith to produce valuable artifacts, the first thing they must is to remove all the waste matter–the crud that has no value. The same is true for those who create items from diamonds (mined from layers of coal) and gold (burning off the crud in a hot fire).

How does this segment speak to our daily lives? If we’re going to increase our value or worth, we must remove the crud that keeps us from revealing the true nature of who we are.

On an individual level–many of us have not achieved the success that lies deep within us because we’ve allowed past mistakes and failures to cover and hide the beauty inside. True beauty is often never seen in people simply because they are not willing to get rid of the waste–the crud–that has no value. Sometimes, that means we have to get rid of people in our lives that do nothing but distract us from the path that God has established for us. Sometimes that means we have to be willing to see ourselves–without make-up or delusional perceptions and work to rid ourselves of those things that keep us from seeing our worth.

On a collective level–looking at our communities, our society, our country–we must be willing to remove the crud that has no value. That means we have to see–without bias or delusional perception–all that is going on around us and be willing to remove everything that is “waste” and has no value. Sometimes we must let go of ideologies that oppress and suppress–thinking one group of people is superior to another is one such ideology. We must learn to value all human beings and stop promoting hatred because of race, ethnicity, gender or beliefs. We must stop belittling people simply because they don’t agree with us and we must certainly stop using intimidating, bullying tactics to get our way–in anything.

When we see these things (aforementioned) we must be willing to call them what they are. Racism is a personal bias against others because of a person’s race or ethnic background. Bigotry is hatred of people simply because others are different from them. And any time a person lies--there are no black lies or white lies, little lies or big lies–they are liars. If we’re not willing to be realistic about our biases–we hold onto the dross–the waste–that has no value and we never see what we can truly become.

It’s time we remove the waste–everything that has no value in our lives. It’s time to remove the racism that only leads to racial tensions across the country. It’s time to remove the bigotry that allows people to think they are better than someone else. It’s time to remove the bias against people who believe God versus those who don’t. When we realize that God has given us CHOICE in all matters–we begin to understand that none of us are right about anything and we need each other to survive this journey called “life.”

If we’re not willing to remove all that has no value–the crud from our lives–we will continue to see violence perpetuated against people for any little reason. We will continue to see hatred spread like airborne diseases and we will continue to see a world–filled with ideologies that mean nothing–decimated by bigotry.

Remove The Waste from our thoughts of self and others and we remove the crud in our society so we can shine like beacons of brilliant light!

The Value of A Name!

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 NIV)

Most of us have heard the phrase, “A rose better any other name is just as sweet,” but have we really thought about the value of a name?

Just as there as many kinds of roses, with varying hues and fragrances, there are many kinds of names–with varying connotations attached and usually–the perceptions of others will increase the value of our name or detract from the worth of our name.

Think about this–when people hear your name–what is the first thing they think about? Do they smile or frown? Are they happy or sad? Are they inspired to seek you for counsel or to hide from you? Is being associated with you a good thing or a questionable venture? Remember the adage, “Birds of a feather flock together,” or “We are known by the company we keep.” What kind of company do you keep that determines the value of your name?

When people respect someone–there is usually an acknowledgment of that respect when someone utters their name. Those listening to the one who uttered the name, perk up and pay attention. This person’s name will revive good memories and stories abound about how good they are at this and that–how they stepped forward to help in a pinch, how selfless and considerate they are of others and this is a person–most want to be around–they have a good name.

However, the same is true when a person’s name is mentioned that has gained notoriety–a name that causes people dread and anguish or even brings up negative memories. Most people will shun anyone associated with this person simply because they have an affiliation with one whose name is not trusted or respected.

When I look at what is happening in our society right now–change of names with change of gender, change of political correctness and change of stance for what is right–I am not surprised with the reaction or responses some people have to hearing “some names” in the media. But it is because our perceptions of others are colored by the behavior or conduct associated with the name that we lose sight of the one name–Jesus–who was vilified by those who didn’t understand who He was or His purpose on earth. The religious leaders of the time sought to kill all who were associated with Him, not because the disciples had done anything wrong, but because the religious leaders were afraid of losing control over the people. There are still some people who fear the name of Jesus–especially when they don’t want others to come to know Him for themselves and then they’ll discover–how some have lied to them.

But what feelings are triggered when we hear the names? Caitlin,Bruce, Bill, Hilary, Obama, Boehner, Kagan, Thomas, Scalia, Ginsburg, Roberts, Kennedy, Tiger, McCain, Wesley, Michael, Kwame, Rosa, Martin, and the list could go on and on.

Now–what thoughts or feelings are triggered when someone mentions your name? Are the thoughts kind, respectful, considerate–does your name excite or defeat? When people hear your name associated with others, what is their likely conclusion about who you are?

If we conduct ourselves in such a way that many people would abhor association with us–we need to rethink how we do things or accept the fate of someone who will never rise to a level of success because without others–there is no true success.

When people mention Jesus and your name in the same breath–what is their conclusion  about you? Will they say you’re  living the life or living a lie?

A good name has value beyond measure and when it is heard, it is highly esteemed and promoted.