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Tarnished or Polished?

Why is it that we don’t take constructive criticism well? How come we so naturally want to run away from tough situations? Surely, we know by now that we learn the most from the difficult times, right?

Life has a way of rubbing us the wrong way quite regularly.

Rubbed, brushed, knocked, hit, tackled and taken down.

We’ve got to practice with the insignificant, “rubbed against” situations so that we can survive and eventually thrive when we’re “taken down” — because the “taken down” times WILL happen.

No one escapes from the tough stuff.

No one.

I like this picture of being “polished” — it reminds me of my Nana’s sterling silver tea set that sat on on the old tea wagon when I was growing up. There was a season of life when my mom, brothers and I moved into my Nana and Pop’s house. Nana became very preoccupied those years, taking care of three very young grandchildren, her home, her husband and many other outside commitments, so polishing her special tea set was no longer a priority. As a result, the set became very tarnished and as a young child, it looked ugly to me. I didn’t see its beauty until the day Nana handed me a special cloth and asked me to start rubbing.

“That teapot needs work. Sure isn’t going to get clean on its own. You need to rub really hard with that cloth, Diane. It’ll take a little time so be patient but it will look very different when you’re finished with it.”

I would have chosen anything else but work that afternoon but Nana wanted my help so I started rubbing the teapot . . .

. . . and it begin to shine. I remember being pleasantly surprised by the transformation.

The heaviness — the dust and dirt — of life have a way of tarnishing us all.

We don’t want to surrender to God’s ways of polishing us because we have such a commitment to our own strategies and comfort but when God gets His hand on us and we surrender, there is such beauty.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”  Isaiah 55.8 NLT








  1. Anonymous

    Beautifully put, Diane.

    • Diane (Author)

      Thank you so much!

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