Lessons From Metallurgy

John 14
In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

John 17
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

The purpose of blending or alloying metals is to give the finished material properties and qualities that are not found in the base metals by themselves. Take gold for instance. Pure gold is soft and weak. Jewelry made from pure gold would quickly wear out if not for the addition of other metals that add strength. In order to be made useful for jewelry or for industrial purposes, metals such as copper, silver, nickel, or zinc must be added during the refining process. The result is a material that is far stronger than the base gold by itself.

While pure gold may be attractive to the eye, it has no real strength. Without Christ, the life of the unsaved person may appear to be just fine. We’ve all heard lost people who say, “I’m just fine without God.” But in reality, they have no real strength. Jesus said “I am in the Father and you are in me and I in you.” Think about what our lives were like before we accepted Christ. What were we like? We were weak. We lacked true strength.

A metal that is soft and weak is said to malleable, which means it’s easy to bend and form into shapes. In metal work, this can be a good thing. But when you’re talking about people’s lives, not so much. As it pertains to metallurgy, The World English Dictionary defines the word ‘malleable’ as easily worked or shaped. But malleable has another definition. It also means, able to be influenced. That’s what we were before coming to Christ. We were easily influenced by the world. In that worldly sense, we were ‘malleable’. Paul put it this way in his letter to the Romans (Romans 12 verse 2): Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Metal alloys are engineered to withstand great forces and stresses. Just as different metals are blended together to form a single yet stronger alloy, when we accepted Christ , we became one with Him. And when we became one with Jesus Christ, we were made stronger.

The Apostle Paul wrote about the great difficulties he often had to endure for the sake of the gospel. In his letter to the Philippians, he said he had learned to be content in all circumstances, whether he had nothing or everything, plenty or little. There were forces and stresses acting on his life, just as it is with us. Paul said the secret of living in every situation was knowing that we can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength.

As Christians, we need to be aware that we’re always being watched by the world to see how we’ll react in times of difficulty. So when someone asks where you get your strength, when they ask how it is that you’re able to withstand the stresses and forces that are coming your way, simply tell them “I am one with Jesus Christ, and I’m stronger now than I was when I was alone.”