Silver Is Not Second Best
(This will be my inspirational message this afternoon for the recognition ceremonies of my alma mater, the Metropolitan International Christian Academy. My kid brother Tim is also graduating today from prep! Congrats bunso! I’ll give you a blog post on Tim tomorrow. For now, here’s my message to the graduates of MICA for this year’s Recognition Ceremonies, with the theme, “Refined As Silver for the Master.”)
Today, medals and trophies were given out to some of our deserving students who did their best in their studies. Some were awarded the most coveted of all awards—the gold medal awards. Maybe some of those who were awarded with a gold medal this year were awarded also of gold medals last year. Wouldn’t you love to have your picture taken with a gold medal hanging in your neck?
And for others, well, they got the silver medal.
Some of those who received silver medals must be thinking, “I was this close to making it gold this year!” Some of you must have received gold last year, and this year, your medal is silver. You’re probably thinking, “Sayang naman, ako dapat yung may gold medal!”
I know the feeling of receiving a silver medal. On my last day here at MICA as a student 14 years ago, I got the silver medal as the class salutatorian. I worked hard to try to earn the gold one, but our class valedictorian must have worked doubly harder than me, and that’s why she got the gold medal. I would have been a lot happier if I got the gold medal.
But, I wouldn’t be sad at all for getting silver.
Some would say silver is always for second placers. And they say that second placers are the first losers. Well, I disagree. I don’t think silver is necessarily just second best. And I am not the only one who disagrees with the concept of silver as just second best—even the Bible disagrees. Why? Because the Bible itself uses silver in so many illustrations, object lessons, and symbolisms, to highlight its worth and value.
In the text that we read silver is used to symbolize the Word of God. Silver is known for its purity, solidity, and duration. That is why long before gold was minted for coins, silver has been the primary mineral used for minting the earliest known currencies.
Wisdom is also likened unto silver. Silver is one of the most valuable minerals in the world. The quest of searching this material is not an easy one. While abundance favors gold with more value, it is the difficulty of removing the dross out of the silver that makes it a high valued precious stone. Finding wisdom is hard these days, because people no longer take heed of God’s word. A person who has found, and continues to search for wisdom is like a person who will labor with all his strength to find the silver he has long searched for.
In Proverbs 10:20, “The tongue of the just is as choice silver…” A person whose lips has been sanctified and is being used to utter godly words and testimonies is said to have something as precious as silver. But the true reason for a person’s “silver lips” is his character. What pure contents there are in a person’s heart, the same is revealed as he opens his lips.
Silver is also one of our enduring rewards as believers on that day that we shall be judged by God Almighty. It is an enduring reward because the Refiner’s Fire cannot destroy it. In fact, because fire cannot destroy silver, all it will do is purify it even more. This reward will reveal that our work here on earth is not in vain.
And finally, as to the believer’s service to God, silver is used to characterize the sanctified servant, a believer whose life has been purged from the clutches of worldliness, and is not being used as an instrument fit for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
Silver is valuable, but it is only so once the impurities have been removed. A tarnished silver item is always ignored and set aside—what masters are looking for are pure, untarnished silver. In the same fashion, we, the silver vessels of God, are being tarnished by sin, worldliness, and the working power of Satan. He wants to put in ungodly admixtures in our lives so that we cannot be useful to God anymore.
The beautiful thing about God is that as our Master, he patiently and steadily purifies us each day from the dross of sin, so that one day we would shine as pure silver before Him. Then, He will now put us into good use—a vessel unto honor.
The challenge for us today is to be the best. Silver does not always mean you are second best. Being a refined silver for the Master means being excellent, steadfast, firm, and determined in anything that you do.
Be the refined silver the Master wants you to be today!