All That Glitters is Not Gold

By: Wanda Fielder

All that glitters is not gold is a phrase that I have heard since my childhood as no doubt you have also.  It has a simple meaning which indicates that not everything that is shiny and superficially attractive is valuable. Not all that looks precious is necessarily so.  Shakespeare is given credit for this proverb; however, the phrase was used long prior to his days. Preceding Shakespeare’s comment on the subject, the expression actually used the word ‘glisters’ instead of glitters.  Somewhere through the ages the word glisters became archaic and was substituted with glitters.

I tend to use a lot of gold ornaments and décor during the Christmas season and can certainly verify that the shine and sparkle doesn’t equate with the value of said baubles.  Even Dollar Store ornaments afford an abundance of luster and sheen but would hardly merit the term valuable.  There is a profusion of glitter on display during this season, but only a small minority would be able to acclaim precious value to their decorations other than sentiment.

Those panning for gold in time gone by found that pyrite or fool’s gold reflected substantially more light than authentic gold. Raw gold usually appears rather dull and lacking luster and has no glitter, once again reminding us that all that glitters is not gold. 

In today’s world, it seems there is a varied opinion on what represents Christianity, and I simply look to the Word of God to give me those answers instead of looking at people.  I Peter 1:7 states, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”  Oh, how I want my faith to measure up!

That brings me to the final mention of gold in the Bible, and it is my heart’s desire to view this in person.  Revelation 21:21 clearly declares that “the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”  I really don’t have a preference as to whether it glitters, sparkles or shines.  Although I am hesitant to walk on transparent glass such as the skydeck ledge at Willis Tower in Chicago or the CN Tower floor in Toronto, I will look forward to taking a step on this street of gold with no caution or fear.  With just one step on that street I can declare, “I made it home!”




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