For Ladies: Avoid The Tarnish

Deirdra Miller

We have a beautiful silver cup. My husband’s late mother received it as an award back in the 1980s from selling Stanley Home Products. It is one of the few things we have from her, and it records her achievement even until today. It is a very labor intensive job to keep it clean, and, even after the cleaning is complete, the tarnish begins to reappear after just a few days. Unfortunately, this cup has become heavily tarnished over the years, and we now keep it in a closet.

I have some beautiful sterling silver jewelry. I wear some of it almost every day. I keep it in my jewelry box along with a cleaning cloth. I can use this cloth to wipe the pieces clean before and after I have worn them; otherwise, they will also begin to tarnish. No matter how careful I am in wearing my sterling silver pieces, they become tarnished easily by outside influences. Thankfully these pieces are smaller than the silver cup and much easier to wipe clean.

Tarnish doesn’t take long to appear. It is caused by contact with wool, salt, oils from hands, high humidity, or sulfur in the air. If silver pieces are not protected and cleaned frequently, they will become dull and, eventually, black from the tarnish. They are, then, no longer beautiful to look at, and often discarded.

Our reputations can be like sterling silver. We must protect them and keep them cleansed daily by Christ. 1 John 1:7. Unfortunately, there are things beyond our control that can tarnish our reputations and do severe damage. Oftentimes, a talebearer can share information which spreads quickly, causing damage. Women often have the reputation of being talebearers, and, regrettably, that is often the case. Let us look at what the Bible has to say about being a talebearer.

“You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people” Leviticus 19:16. “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit” Psalms 34:13. “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases” Proverbs 26:20. Tale bearing is something that the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). Elder’s wives are not to be slanderers, (1 Timothy 3:11) and young widows are also cautioned against becoming gossips and busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13).

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly” Proverbs 18:8 (KJV). If only we could fully realize the untold damage that is being done to the body of Christ and to our influence as Christians! If only we could see the tarnish we create on others by the words we use! (James 3:5). Talebearers do harm, whether they are conscious of it or not.

As Christian women, we have the duty to seek to edify others. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” Eph. 4:31-31. We are to pursue things which make for peace and edification (Romans 14:19). Being a talebearer is contradictory to being a Christian. People of the world enjoy and even make a living out of tale bearing. (Have you read the headlines in the grocery store check-out line lately?) Satan loves it. God does not. 

As individuals, we are “to keep oneself unspotted from the world” James 1:27. As Christians, we should want to help each other in that endeavor by not tarnishing another’s reputation by the sin of tale bearing. -105 Blanche Circle, Winchester, VA 22602.

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