Wednesday, January 7, 2015

One Word Impact-Malleable


I woke up on Sunday morning at 5:43 am. I'd had a strange dream about owning an empty house that I'd forgotten I owned (as if!), and then, upon remembering, visiting it (By the way, the house had ugly pink carpet throughout the entire house, even on the walls!).

As I was lying there, trying to figure out the spiritual significance of an empty house with ugly pink carpet that I had forgotten I owned, this word popped into my head:  

malleable

I sort of knew what that meant, but not really. I had to look up the meaning. 

I thought that it meant moldable, teachable.  



My good old fashioned Webster's (Ninth New Collegiate) Dictionary defines it as:

1.  capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer or by the pressure of rollers
2.  capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences
3.  having a capacity for adaptive change

This is such a complex word: all three definitions are so similar, yet really so different. And each have physical, spiritual and emotional significance. 

All of this beating made me think of a similar word only two words down in the dictionary: 

mallet

A mallet is a tool that usually has a large rubber head, which is used "for driving another tool or for striking a surface without marring it (also from Webster's)"

So why did this word pop into my head early on Sunday morning? What was God trying to tell me?

Well, I've been chewing on this word. I've let it sit on my tongue and on my brain. I've tried and tried to fit the dream and the word together, but as far as I can tell, the two are not related (although I think the dream has its own significance).



But here's what keeps rolling around inside my brain:

To be malleable is to succumb to the way God wants to shape me. 

Being malleable means that I'm willing to be pliable, softened, in order to be hammered, altered and changed...without being marred. 

Because when God hammers me, He uses a mallet with a rubber head. 

He strikes my surface without harming who I am.

I've been pondering this "one word" thing over the last several days, and something that I've discovered about almost every word that I've mulled over is that every definition of every word has both a positive and a negative connotation.

I'm currently reading Hitler's Cross: How the Cross Was Used to Promote the Nazi Agenda by Erwin W. Lutzer. I thought I knew about the atrocities of Hitler, but there is so much I did not know about: how the German citizens, soldiers and church were deceived, blackmailed and threatened. It's fascinating, disturbing and eye-opening.

The deceit is what strikes me the hardest. World War I left Germany impoverished and in severe financial debt. Hitler miraculously turned the country around. They loved him...no, they worshiped him! They were malleable, and he took advantage of that.

So it is with us. 

If we are not grounded in God's word, if our faith is weak, and we are also malleable, we are easily influenced and in danger of being led astray.

We need to be very careful of who we allow ourselves to be influenced by.

I admit, I am easily influenced. Perhaps that is what also makes me adaptable. It also makes me a lousy debater, but that is completely irrelevant. These traits are both good and bad; it all depends on who I allow myself to be influenced by and how and what I adapt to. 

If we allow the mallets of the world to hammer and change us, we will end up sharp and unformed. We may actually enjoy the shaping, but eventually, we will see that we have been shaped into a distorted image of what we set out to be.

When we are hammered with a holy mallet, it may be uncomfortable; it may even hurt. We may cry out in rebellion, but if we succumb, and allow ourselves to be formed into the image the Creator wishes to create us to be, we will realize that all of that hammering is to form us into His likeness. 

God uses his mallet to hammer out the imperfections in us. To extend us. To shape us. To give us the capability to adapt.

We will never be perfect. There is only one who is perfect: Jesus Christ. But...

For by one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Heb 10:14).

That's us...the ones who are not perfect, but are perfect in the eyes of God because of the sacrifice of Jesus, which allows us to always be in the process of being holy.

Jesus was the epitome of being malleable: 

Yet not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42).

How malleable are you? 
Who or what are you allowing yourself to be influenced by?
Are you willing to be adaptable to what God wants you to do, how He wants you to do it and where He wants you to go? 

I pray that you and I will become so malleable in the hands of our Father that we will, like Jesus, be able to pray...really pray...from our hearts:  Not my will, but yours be done.

Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

Sharing this post with Beth at Wedded Wednesday, Holley at Coffee For Your Heart, Crystal with Thriving Thursday

2 comments:

  1. Great insights on this word--and a reminder that we need to be students of God's word. I'm your neighbor at Thriving Thursday. Blessings this New Year!

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  2. Thank you Carol, and thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by and chat!

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