Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
    are fervent lips with an evil heart.

Proverbs 26:23 (NIV)


I stopped and paused while reading Proverbs the other day. I know what silver is and I like silver (other than I hate to polish it), but what is silver dross? The dictionary tells me it is the scum formed, usually by oxidation, on the surfaces of molten metals; worthless matter; waste.

I also know that earthenware chips easily and breaks to smithereens when dropped. (I’ve done both.) So why would you coat or glaze a clay pot with something shiny but worthless?

To hide the fact that it is a fake. It looks pretty but underneath it is weak, and in some ways false. You think it looks like long-lasting stoneware but it has not gone through the fire to harden and strengthen it, one of the main differences between the two.

A fast-talking salesman or sleazy politician may come to mind, or maybe the neighborhood gossip that likes to pass along juicy tidbits so that they look better in comparison. Hollywood is classic for the smooth and shiny until the their sordid lives comes to light for all to see in the latest scandal.

But God is not finished with this lesson and offers an alternative to that smooth talk. He wants us to be strong and speak truth so as a result, He may use the refiner’s fire to accomplish His purpose.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)

Aren’t you glad God promises that these trials are only for a little while? And, in the process, we grow, our faith remains strong, and one day we will be honored along with Jesus. We have endured the fire and been strengthened in the process. Now our words bring truth and life to those we meet each day.