“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”
Silver can be hidden in dross, and its value will never be discovered without removing the dross that covers it. It doesn’t matter how valuable the silver may be; it is worthless when covered with dross. Likewise, you can have great talent that is hidden by poor character traits. Just like valuable silver hidden by dross hides its value, your talent and valuable contributions can be hidden if you don’t get rid of the dross in your life. In this chapter, several things are identified that can devalue your talent and contributions.
First, friends can devalue your value. Verse 5 says, “Take away the wicked from before the king…” Influences do matter, and who you associate with can destroy your value to others. If your associations are those who would hinder you from becoming what the LORD wants you to become, you would be wise to separate yourself from them so that your value can be discovered. Many people have never been used because of their associations.
Second, pride devalues your value. Verse 6-7 shows how a person’s value is hidden by pride. As verse 7 shows, if you think you are deserving of every position, you are allowing pride to take your value away. A person is only as valuable as to the degree of their humility. If you think you deserve all the accolades, you will be a weight to any church, organization or place of employment.
Third, words can devalue your value. Verse 11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Knowing what to say and when to say it is vitally important to revealing your value. If you spout off every time something comes to mind, you can become a detriment to those around you. The best way to add to your value is to keep your mouth shut. Don’t think you always have to say something. Learn that silence is sometimes the greatest value.
Fourth, an unresponsive spirit devalues your value. Verse 12 shows the importance of responding to correction. If you can’t be told what to do, you will be worthless to any organization. Somebody has to be able to tell you what to do. You must learn to respond to correction and helpful advice if you want your value to be discovered.
Fifth, unfaithfulness devalues your value. Verse 19 says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” If you can’t be depended on to get things done at a deadline, you are hurting your value. You will never be promoted to a leadership position until those over you know that they can depend on you getting things done at the appointed time. All the talent in the word is of no value if your talent can’t be depended on to get things done at the appointed time.
Sixth, an uncontrolled spirit devalues your value. Verse 28 compares the person who can’t control their spirit to the city that has no walls. Don’t be an angry individual. Get control of your spirit and don’t allow yourself to lose your temper. Yes, there is a time to be angry, but uncontrolled anger is detrimental to your value.
My friend, it would be sad that your silver is hidden by the dross in your life. You will never reach your God-given potential until these six things are removed from your life. Your value is needed in the work of the LORD; don’t waste it.