By Pauline Morgan
It was a beautiful, sunny summer morning, and I was sitting on the porch of a log cabin where we were camping. I had a cup of tea and a bowl of cereal on the little table. I finished both and then let the two teaspoons drop on the paper napkin in the sunlight. That’s when I noticed! I had brought cutlery from home, so these two teaspoons were definitely mine. I looked again, then went inside and got the rest of the teaspoons. Five of the twelve were so dull, dingy and stained looking … I’d say tarnished, but they were stainless steel. When I picked up a teaspoon and held it against another, the difference was marked, yet I never noticed it until they were in the sunlight.
Isn’t that just like sin? It tarnishes us, but we may not even notice until we are in the sunlight! Every day we get up, hopefully spend time in the Lord’s presence, and head out to live in a world that could care less about God. We try to live close to God and please Him, but it is so easy to get tarnish and residue on our heart and soul when we bump up against the world. It can definitely leave its mark. It happens with our attitudes, thoughts, and words. And because we are so very different from many around us, if we are not sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings we can delude ourselves into thinking we are still nice and clean and shiny. As believers we are very aware of all the “big” sins and respond to conviction with repentance. But sometimes the little things get overlooked until we are compared against the Lord Jesus. If I measure myself against my neighbors, family, friends, and coworkers, I am going to be better than some and a lot worse than others. Sometimes it’s not an obvious sin that is tarnishing us, but an attitude or an unwillingness to look at our expectations and the demands we make of God.
What does tarnish on our heart or soul do? It stops us from reflecting Christ to the world around us! Parts of us may be reflecting Christ but not the whole, and so it makes us an ineffective witness. And tarnish sneaks up … if the whole spoon were to suddenly turn black, we’d notice it right away. But it doesn’t. It’s a spot here and a tiny spot there, and we don’t even notice until the Son-light shines on us that we are dull and not reflecting Him.
This year spring didn’t show up till May, so it’s not too late to do a bit of internal spring cleaning. Let the Lord open a few windows to air out the dust and staleness. Present our heart and soul for cleansing and polishing. Offer our lives to be thoroughly washed in the blood of the Lamb. Then, and only then, can we clearly reflect the glory of the Lord to the world around us.
Pauline Morgan loves her big, wide life even though it is not what she always pictured. The adventure she has embarked upon since meeting Jesus at 16 has never failed in the years she has been walking with Him. She loves His Word and every opportunity she has to proclaim, preach, and teach it. The ministry of lovingly encouraging believing women to grow in faith and step out in ministry is closely held in her heart. Pauline enjoys travel, ministry, many different kinds of music, luxury camping, espionage books, and movies. Single with no children, she has a well-developed skill in spoiling her grown nieces and her friends’ children. She’s hoping for more time to devote to a new hobby of watercolor painting … that is, if life slows down!
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