Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ceramic or Marble?

My husband is a very wise man and I've learned to listen to what he thinks best. One of those ideas was to tile much of the front part of our house, and only carpet the living room. In fact, we have tile from our front door, all the way through the house to the back door, and I'm so thankful! It's saved me countless hours of cleaning since we live in the country and often have weeks of mud. Our tile floor has been a huge blessing, but if we had to do it all over again, we'd go with a tumbled marble. Why? So we can have a fancy floor? No way!

You see, ceramic tile looks real nice, cleans easily and has a nice feel on your bare feet, but it doesn't withstand the normal happenings of children. Often, dropping a table knife will result in a chip—and our dinning room table is encircled with nicks and chips from chairs catching on, and breaking up the edges of the tile.

All that wear and tare is part of life in an active, large household. The problem comes in with the tile. The color is only on the surface, so every chip and nick reveals the true inner color of the tile. Ceramic tile has a pretty exterior, and a pretty ugly interior. The good quality tile flooring has consistent color all the way through, so all those chips and nicks that are just part of life, aren't a problem.

That makes me wonder, what kind of tile am I? Do I simply have a pretty exterior, and am I constantly having to run around to paint the chips to keep my real colors from showing or am I like marble? When marble chips or gets nicked, the damaged area blends in because its inside is consistent with its outside.

God talks about this same problem in His people.
You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' ~Matthew 15:7-9


Now there's an ugly word! Hypocrite. Why did Jesus call them hypocrites?
Hear, and understand. Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man. ~Matthew 15:10-11


In order for something to come out of the mouth it must be inside first. Inside you. Inside me. It's what is inside a person that makes them unclean and ugly. Just like no one wants to see the inside color of ceramic tile, no one wants to see the inside color of a life that is simply wearing a coat of pretty paint.

It's not because of the exterior that we won't use ceramic tile on the floor again, it's because the color is only on the surface and not all the way through. Chips and nicks are an inevitable part of life, so we want to make sure that our inside is consistent with our outside, because sooner or later, it will be seen.

So, what kind of tile are you? Ceramic or marble?


5 comments:

  1. Do I really have to answer that? Gulp. Lemme just put it this way. The desire of my heart is to be marble all the way through. Do you have a tile that needs work on the outside and is beautiful on the inside? lol. jk.

    anyway, terrific analogy as usual. You're the real thing.

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  2. Food for thought. Yum.

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  3. You are so good at finding God's lessons in your daily life. What a wonderful lesson! It reminds me of the origin of the word, "sincere", which means "without wax".
    Cracks in alabaster vases were sometimes hidden with wax, but a buyer could easily see the repair by holding it up to light. Interesting, isn't it?

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  4. Can I just "ditto" what LauraLee said? Again, you have an amazing ability to capture the normal "things" of life and turn them into fantastic "life lessons." Great job!

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  5. Great message here and reminder to examine our lives and heart. Thanks for this.

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