2 Corinthians 3:18 (New Jerusalem Bible)
Several years ago I decided to clean the tarnished brass kick plate on the front door of my house. I applied some brass polish, and that took some of the tarnish off without any real effort, but most of it only went away through the application of steel wool and elbow grease over what seemed to be an inordinate period of time. The more I rubbed, the more reflective the kick plate became. It ended up much better than it started, but never became perfectly reflective.
It strikes me that God works the same way in getting us to better reflect His image. We are each tarnished by the junk in the world and need cleaning in order to reflect His nature. Through His grace, some of the tarnish comes off easily, like the initial layer of crud that came off my kick plate simply as a result initially applying the polish. But most of it only goes away as the result of His persistent scrubbing. The more time we spend in his presence, and the more we let Him work on us, the more reflective we become. And although we’ll never become perfectly reflective of His perfect nature, we’ll become more and more reflective over time, even though it sometimes seems to be taking much longer than we’d like.
(Other images about conforming/yielding to God were posted September 12a, 18a, 18b, 18d, and 23; October 3 and 3a, November 6; and 21, December 8, 12, and 15, 2004 and January 10d, February 18, May 11, June 18 and 27; August 21 and 27; and October 3, 2005.
Other images about patience/waiting on God were posted on October 1, November 21, December 8, 2004 and June 11, 18, and 24, 2005.
Other images about the process of growing/maturing in our walk with God were posted October 3a and 17, 2004; May 11, June 11 and 18; July 20, August 21 and 27; and October 3 2005.
Other images about the benefits of eliminating things that get between us from and God/His purposes for us were posted September 18d, October 3a and 14, November 21, December 8, 2004 and February 28 and August 3, 2005.)