Proverbs 27:21

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.”

This has become another favorite of mine. At first, this one appears odd, but does it not make perfect sense? Before, I hadn’t considered praise to be anything to endure… like the pounding of the crucible or the heat of the furnace. Yet, when people love us, when they think we can do no wrong (at least that’s what they say), our hearts are being molded. In the midst of the glory of being adored, do we agree? Do we begin to slack off, thinking we have already arrived? Or do we recognize the truth about ourselves? Do we press on to become the man and woman God desires or remain stagnant as the one good enough to be liked?


Anonymous said...

Wow...haven't read that one in a while.

I agree Tim. Praise from men can be such a roadblock in our walk and I hadn't thought about that before really.

I needed to read that today. Thanks. BTW..nice pics at the beach. Pretty brave man. I mean, trying to surf and all. hehe
How far are you guys from the Gearharts?

tim rush said...

How far are we? Well, that depends on if the police make us turn around due to protests on the highway or not. We are about 6 when all goes smooth. We are 8 and 1/2 when we end up on dirt roads you wouldn't dare drive even in West Texas. (And we took the Taurus thinking it would save on gas... not good.)

heather said...

Good GRIEF!!!
If I didn't know how amazingly our God works, I would think you and Angie were working in tandem on my personal issues and growth.

(Are you?) :-)

Too often I let praise be my indicator that I am on the right path instead of depending on my relationship with God to move me and determine my steps.
I know *in theory* that He told me the opinions of men are silly to place confidence in... yet my flesh is more practiced at relying on that gage for my actions.
You continue to bless and encourage. Thanks Tim.

Angie said...

Tim... The timing and message of this proverb is incredible for me. You guys are rockin' my blog world!

Whoa, Heather... This is just too much! I am amazed!

For the rest of you guys, Heather told me to check out Tim's blog b/c I wrote this to Heather earlier today:

I won't be e-mailing you, like, every 5 minutes or anything... But I can't tell you how much your nice words mean to me. I made up my mind in my heart at the beginning of this blog series that I would only need affirmation from God... So that if I didn't get any encouragement from friends (for whatever reason... whether they misunderstand me or just don't think I need it) it wouldn't make any difference. But I do crave it... So, I am soaking up the love you're pouring on me - into the deep places in my heart!

I wish we were closer geographically. I think that we each have some flint in us that if we were rubbed together often enough we'd produce such a fire for God - fanning into flame our gifts and not alowing each other to get away w/our weaknesses... Or would we just cause a massive explosion?! :-)

Amy G said...

I am just glad God does not give up on us.

Jeff & Amy G said...

By the way...Cardinals Won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am glad your team won. I think your dad and brother owe you BIG. Sorry to bring up a tender spot in the midst of celebration...

tim rush said...

J and A, I can't say they OWE me for anything... but Dusty better be careful with what he writes from now on. Or else I'll need to highlight a few proverbs about expelling the mocker from among you!


Jeremiah said...

if you look at the original words ... "is tested" is nowhere to be found. this is a simple analogy. crucible is to silver and furnace is to gold as praise is to a man. they all accomplish the same thing. we put such a value on humility (or false humility) that we sometimes miss the meaning. these items heat the metal until it is molten ... then and only then do impurities come to the top where they can be skimmed off. it is the same with people. in an atmosphere of praise (not flattery), people feel comfortable and begin to let their guard down. the word for praise here is mahalal (halal is common for praise) which has to do with degree of praise. to the degree you genuinely praise someone is the same degree you will see rigid guards drop down and impurities come to the top to be skimmed off. this is a proverb that can transform our view of discipleship and evangelism.
how often do we try to beat impurities out of people as verse 22 talks about. the world needs to hear that we beleive they have an amazing future if they follow God. They need to know God loves them and has given us the greatest praise ever given ... that He would see us as worthy of redeeming at the cost of His own Son.
if praise makes you proud ... there was an issue before the praise came along. praise is healthy and needs to be given. God even loves praise ... it is the atmosphere of heaven itself. to the degree that you genuinely praise people (keyword: genuinely) is the degree that you will see people open up and the dark impurities inside revealed. if they think you are flattering them or trying to get a spiritual notch in your belt, they will not open up. i hope you find this valuable. God has used it to change my life.
Jeremiah (lptheiss@hotmail.com)