Whenever you see people sifting for gold or searching for gems, they seem to be in the dirtiest of places. They’re digging through the mud of a stream or burrowing into a dark and dirty cavern. They seem to spend hours working the ground to find that little bit of treasure buried underneath it all. The dirt is everywhere, but the gems are rare.
The values of those around us can be easily spotted. We just view their actions to see if they are greedy or selfish or sexually immoral. Those attitudes are pervasive in our culture. The reason is that they take up a lot of space in our own hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” That sounds like a terrible condition! It basically means that our hearts are evil, not innocent. They are wicked and tend to be attracted to what is wrong. It’s the dirt of the world, but it begins right inside our own hearts.