Testing Builds Character

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold
[to separate the impurities of the metal],
And each is tested by the praise given to him
[and his response to it, whether humble or proud]
(Proverbs 27:21 AMP).

Solomon compares refining metal by fire to how we believers receive praise. It’s possible that we may be assessed better by what others say of us. However, humility, truthfulness, and the crucible of testing should display godly character in us.

Purity of Character

The melting points of silver and gold (precious metals) are well known by the jewelers and craftsmen. This treatment by fire removes impurities. We need to reject impurities in our character, speak the truth in love, deal honestly with others, and have compassion for all. This will reveal Christ-like character in us.

Things Praise Reveals

The Holy Spirit shaping your thoughts, intentions, and performance should be evident to all. I’ve found three useful and interesting interpretations of this proverb:

  • A man’s character is displayed by the way he receives praise. On the other hand, living for the praise of man can lead to missing God’s intentions for us.
  • A man is viewed by the things he praises. This can encourage or discourage us.
  • A godly man dismisses the praise of unworthy substance—this process is a hard task. We must listen closely to the Holy Spirit on a regular basis and embrace it as a crucible for growing in Christ.

Building character is based on discipleship, Bible application, and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. Humility, truthfulness, and the crucible of testing should display godly character in us.

Prayer: Father, I accept your crucible. Test me and try me to improve my character—I want to be like Jesus. Selah.