When something or someone has hidden characteristics and potential but currently lacks the final touches that would make them truly stand out from the crowd they can be said to be a “diamond in the rough”
The phrase relates to the fact that naturally occurring diamonds can be quite ordinary at first glance as their true beauty as jewels is only realized through the cutting and polishing process.
There are many people that could be described as diamonds in the rough. At first glance they seem quite ordinary or even cause us to be offended by their lack of social graces, appearance, manners, or speech. Yet it is often these very individuals who offer the greatest friendship and support or whom God uses to bless our lives in some way. This is mainly because God specialises in bringing the best out in people and in pruning or polishing off rough edges to reveal the gem and masterpiece underneath.
Unfortunately we can often miss these “diamonds in the rough” through judging too quickly or placing people into “types”, demographics and categories before we have even given them a chance to be seen and heard. In doing so we can easily miss the gem of a person God has created and wants in our life.
A great example of the concept of finding “diamonds in the rough” is found in the account of David in the bible where many of the broken, discontented and in distress came and gathered around him and he became their leader. In this list of over four hundred men are found David’s mighty men who were known for their military skill and the blessing of God on their lives. To many they were merely misfits with a bad attitude, but to David they were people he took the time to value and to help find a purpose and place in life.
“David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.” (1 Samuel 22:21-22)
Today, determine not to judge others too quickly, but instead to choose to look further than the superficial or rough edges that we all can hide behind and carry. Stop making assumptions and instead give people time and space to be seen and heard. In doing so you will, like David make yourself available for God to use to encourage others to be the best version of themselves, and also have the privilege of getting to know some pretty amazing people as you do.
“Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment will not be passed on you. For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you. Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend”. (Matt 7:1-5 TPT)
Prayer: Lord please help me to not fall into the trap of judging too quickly situations or those around me, because in doing so I can easily miss the amazing people and opportunities you have planned for me. Help me to spot the diamonds in the rough and be someone who will accept and encourage people to be all they can be. In Jesus name Amen.