Chaucer once said in reference to the low morals of the clergy of his day, “If gold rust, what should iron do?” Rusty saints—that’s one of the tragedies of our day. According to the Bible, saints are followers of Christ, not statues in a corner or exceptionally good people who have gone to heaven. There are too many Christians whose lives are tarnished by sin. Thus they rob the world of an example of what God can do in a person’s life and what their lives might become.
A writer once dedicated a book this way: “To J. Y. Simpson, who makes the best seem easily credible.” That’s what every Christian is to do. We must so live and conduct ourselves that others see life at its best. More than that, they see it as a possibility for themselves.
No Christian can think lightly of the lowering of his moral standards. The world provides many deliberate enticements to sin. However, no Christian ought to allow himself to become rusty or tarnished by yielding to them. In moral principles, daily habits, everyday language, and personal relationships, we should seek to live by the highest standards possible. It is only then that we can give the world the example that it needs.
If there are rusty spots on the armor of your character, now is the time to remove them. Using the abrasions of confession and repentance, let God polish you again. Then the world will have a real live, flesh and blood example of God’s purifying and cleansing power.