Many times when students think about Christian schools, churches, and even Christianity in general, they see only rules. They somehow get the false idea that following Christ is just about dressing appropriately, sitting quietly when you’re supposed to, and overall making the adults in your life happy. If you play this game well, then you think you are a “good Christian kid” and can go on with your life as you like as long as you keep following the rules. But this is not biblical faith! If you’ve been paying attention to what we’ve been teaching in chapel and the blog and Bible class, my prayer is that God has shown you that Christianity is about a heartfelt, growing relationship with Christ. Real wisdom, says God in Proverbs, is only found in “the fear of the Lord.” We obey rules because we love Jesus because He first loved us. He loved us and died for us and rose from the dead for us so that we could find life everlasting in Him. What He asks from us in return is that we submit to His Lordship over our lives. He says we must allow Him to do His work of redemption and transformation in us, His work of changing our hearts and lives to become like His.
Today Proverbs tells us that this heartfelt relationship with God is more important than who are parents are or how much money they have. True faith will lead to wisdom, or doing God’s will, and will raise up students from the most humble backgrounds to an inheritance in God’s kingdom, while those who live foolishly for sin and self will find only shame (Proverbs 17:2). God is not very concerned with where you come from, but He cares very much about where you are going. The God of the Bible will use trials and tough circumstances to purify us, to refine our souls the way that super hot furnaces burn off the junk to produce silver and gold (Proverbs 17:3). My prayer is that we would all submit to the work of the Refiner’s fire in our lives, knowing that God has a plan and purpose for our temporary suffering and struggles.
The Text (Proverbs 17:2-3)
2 A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, And will share an inheritance among the brothers.
3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts.
Questions to Think About
- Before you accepted Christ, did you think of Christianity as a bunch of rules to be followed? Why or why not?
- What trials or challenges is God using to refine your heart right now? How are you responding to the work of the Refiner?