“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” 2 Timothy 2:20-21

What part do we want to play in God’s house? Do we want to be an instrument for noble or ignoble purposes? The choice is plainly ours. Do we want to cleanse ourselves to be instruments for noble purposes? Or do we want to take out the garbage?

The Contemporary English Version puts it this way, “In a large house some dishes are made of gold or silver, while others are made of wood or clay. Some of these are special, and others are not. That’s also how it is with people” (verse 20).

In our homes, we have expensive dishes that we only use on special occasions. When they aren’t being used these dishes are often put on display because they are a delight to look at, yet they are always ready for “any good work.” Then we have other dishes we use every day. These dishes aren’t highly valued or even noticed. They get chipped and cracked without a thought.

In God’s economy, all the “dishes” are important, useful and needed. Still, we are told that some choose to “cleanse themselves” and become more “special” so God is able to use them in ways that he isn’t able to use others. How do we cleanse ourselves?

We choose to do those things which help us to grow in our relationship with God—prayer, Bible reading, fellowship. God wants to use us for noble purposes. But are we willing?