It's an old saying that holds a timeless truth, and it's one that recently shook me. Hearing it a couple of weeks ago, one might have thought I had heard it for the first time considering the thought-provoking impact it made.
Back in the gold rush, many times miners thought they had made a fortune only to find out that what they thought was valuable, genuine gold was actually its counterfeit, iron pyrites (what we know as "fool's gold"), which is worth virtually nothing. How disappointing this must have been! The miners were probably devastated and felt cheated.
Have you ever fell in love with a movie star, particularly because of a certain movie character played, only to find out after you researched him that in real life he's not anything like that character? In fact he might have some real serious character flaws. What a disappointment!
On a personal note, upon hearing this thought, I determined that I did not want to be fool's gold; merely glittering like the real thing. Speaking of which, how do you tell if what seems to be gold is actually gold? Well it is said that it has to go through a testing process. The Bible says that just as fire tests and purifies gold, so trials test and perfect our faith (1 Peter 1:7). Trying shows what the substance being tried is actually made of. If it's false, it will likely be consumed by the fire, and if it's genuine it will purified and strengthened.
The Bible gives other ways to tell whether a glittering personality or appearance of ourselves and others is a true reflection of what our character really is. Consider Matthew 12:33 & 35, "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruits bad; for a tree is known by its fruit... A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things."
I don't know about you, but I would be crushed to find that after going through trials that whatever glitter I might have is proved to be only surface deep. The only way to assure that we are genuine gold, is to have first established a relationship with Christ, recognizing Him as our Lord and Savior, and then continually seeking Him through His Word, prayer, and active faith. Through all of these comes the strengthening of our character, so that when the fiery trials come we are not consumed and shown to be merely fool's gold, but only pure, authentic gold!
I am glad for the reality check, and I pray that when I am tested I will come forth as gold- and the same goes for you too! So shine on in all authenticity!