Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

Refining silver. Image in the public domain

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
Zechariah 13:9

Giving oneself to God is sometimes described as dying to self.1 We are who we are, and made in the image of God, but perhaps not always living as the best, most refined version of ourselves.2 The act of surrender is to allow ourselves to be refined for purpose: to serve God through serving our fellow human being. Turning towards starts with letting go of our own ideas, even the good ones—perhaps especially the good ones. It requires listening to the word of God spoken through the mouths of those we love, those we struggle to love, and even those we despise. Truth does not dwell in a single place, and aspects of truth may be found in the most unexpected of places. Our minds must be tuned to possibility, our hearts open to passion, and our eyes and ears open to see and hear. Refinement is not a one-time act, but a daily process. We pray to keep the momentum up, to be reminded that the process of refinement is in God's hands, not our own. Refinement is not to change who we are, but to become the most effective version of ourselves. This requires commitment, but most of all it requires relationship. Relationships don't just happen, they are nurtured and cultivated. We are responsible for this. Our refinement is part hard work and part grace. We need both.

1 This is prevalent in The Seeking Heart a collection of letters written by François Fénelon, c1700
2 This idea is expressed in this recent post by Christian lifestyle blogger, Becoming His Tapestry.