Recently I went in search of a sapphire ring. At the jewelers, the lady showed me a beauty, but it was a bit expensive, so she said,
“I can order you a fabricated stone for your price range, and an advantage of doing fabricated is it can be all the same shade of blue and it can be cut more intricately. It can look prettier.”
My mom who was with me replied, “But…it’s fake.”
The lady agreed.
I didn’t realize at first how much truth this exchange held. Let’s use the sapphire as a metaphor for Christianity.
The fabricated sapphire is beautiful! It looks like your dream gem. It sparkles in the light and it’s the perfect shade of blue. Everything is how it should be…except that’s all external. No matter how much it looks the part, it’s still just glass.
The natural sapphire is beautiful as well, but it could be prettier. It’s a shade darker than you would have liked. It doesn’t have as many facets as the fabricated stone. But the natural has something that the fabricated could never have. It is genuine, not fake.
This sounds like I’m talking about physical beauty, doesn’t it? Well, it could be taken that way for sure. But I’m discussing something much deeper.
There are millions of fabricated sapphire people out there. They look the part. They look better than the part! They may go to church every Sunday. They may volunteer at a homeless shelter. They do good works that make them look very pretty. They seem pretty much perfect. But my mom said it best.
“But it’s fake.”
Maybe it’s not in this life that it’s proven that all their deeds were for nothing. Maybe it happens when they stand before the judgment throne of God. Then all of their good works and their pretty sparkles can only shatter into the worthless shards of glass that they were all along. Matthew 7: 22-23 says,
“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ vs23 And then will I (Jesus) declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
There are not near as many real sapphire people out there. They don’t look the part. They don’t look like the type of people that God would choose to be real. In fact, they’re the ones who are constantly stumbling over their words and don’t usually like to be the center of attention.
Here’s where the similarities between natural and fabricated sapphires and life end though. The literal fabricated sapphire can’t turn into a real one, no matter what. But when you’re talking about people, then it is possible.
I was once a fabricated sapphire. In other words, I was someone who went to church every Sunday and I liked to help people and I was an all around nice kid. I was often told that I was sweet and whatever people call little girls who smile all the time. You may know what I’m going to say next.
“But it’s fake.”
I may have sparkled and looked good, but my soul was made of glass. There was no point to my good works other than to make me look good and ‘it’s just a nice thing to do’. What did that do for me? Nothing.
But you know what? God sent His Son for fabricated sapphires. Only He has the power to change fake into real. And let me tell you right now that He didn’t change me because I sparkled a little more than the person next to me. He did not look at me and see anything remotely pretty. All he saw was glass…worthless, cheap glass. But He chose me anyway. And that blows me away. 1 Timothy 1:15 couldn’t say it better.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
God made me realize that I was no pretty thing and I could do absolutely nothing to change that. So He did it all. He changed me into a genuine sapphire. A Born-Again Christian. He didn’t change me part way and say that I had to do good things so I could change the rest of the way. I could never do anything that God considers to be worthy of salvation. So what can I do? All I can do is praise Him for His amazing grace and point others to Him. Now I don’t do good works to get myself to heaven. I do them to show that my transformation into a genuine sapphire is already completed and it was only because of God that it happened. So why did God pick me? The next verse in 1 Timothy 1 tells me.
Vs 16“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost (sinner), Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. Vs 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
And so I am a genuine sapphire, and I have no one to thank except for Jesus Christ who died for me.
Anna Christine ❤