Magnetism and Morality

In an article called “Exploring Magnetic Fields with a Compass,” Brandon Lunk and Robert Beichner discuss how to measure the strength of magnetic fields using a compass. They explain,

A compass works by allowing a small magnetized needle to line up with the horizontal component of the net magnetic field in its vicinity. In most open places only the Earth’s magnetic field is strong enough to significantly affect the compass needle. However, in the presence of another magnetic field of comparable strength (say, due to a magnet or a current carrying wire), the compass needle will “deflect” from north to point in a new direction. . .(1)

Just like a compass is affected by opposing magnetic fields, people often feel  pulled in different directions by outside forces. Duty, concern, desire. . .many emotions and virtues draw us like magnets, leading to decisions and ultimately the direction of a whole life. We are all at times swayed by the influences of others, the pull of our own hearts, the feelings of duty and responsibility that lead us away from God.

In an article published by the Washington Post about the effects of killing in war, Tim Kudo wrote,

While I don’t know why individual veterans resort to suicide, I can say that the ethical damage of war may be worse than the physical injuries we sustain. To properly wage war, you have to recalibrate your moral compass. Once you return from the battlefield, it is difficult or impossible to repair it.
God promises to help our efforts at restoration, but only when we choose to move ourselves away from conflicting magnets. He explains that to seek Him is the way to a moral and peaceful, centered, true north. Isaiah 55:6-7 says,
Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
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4 thoughts on “Magnetism and Morality

  1. Hey! This reminded me of a article I wrote on how we should be becoming pure gold and part of it was how pure gold is a non-magnetic material so that we should not be pulled by the cares of this world 🙂

      • The word gold appears 417 times throughout the King James Version of the Bible. Gold was used in the temple and especially in the ark of the covenant. It is used in describing the New Jerusalem.

        Gold, like no other metal, has a fascinating history and a special place in the world. Gold is a good conductor of heat and electricity. It has been a highly sought-after precious metal for making coins, jewelry and other works of art since the beginning of recorded history.

        As of 2009, a total of about 161,000 tons of gold had been mined. A single ounce of the metal can be drawn into a wire five miles long. Gold can also be hammered into sheets so thin that light could pass through.

        Well, what does this have to do with us? We should all strive to become gold.

        Spiritual gold

        One of its most important properties is that gold is virtually indestructible. Gold is called a “noble” metal because it does not oxidize under ordinary conditions, meaning that it will not rust or tarnish. Gold has been used as a symbol for purity, value and royalty.

        Gold’s purity is measured in karats. Karat weight can be 10, 12, 14, 18, 22 or 24. The higher the number, the greater the purity.

        When we seek the things that are above and rise above this evil world, we put away sin and live a life of purity. So the higher we rise above the world, the higher our spiritual karat weight will be. Gold can represent the divine nature. As gold is precious, so the divine nature is priceless—the only nature having immortality and incorruptibility.

        Gold is not magnetic. Pure gold does not have the electron spin that causes a metal to interact with a magnet. Other metals, like iron, are able to create their own magnetic fields because of their atomic structures.

        Sin pulls at us like a magnet pulls iron. This is why we need to become gold. Gold does not respond to magnets; and in the same way, we should not respond to the temptations that sin sets before us. In Genesis 4, we learn that sin’s desire is for us, but we should rule over it. We all have areas where we fall short. We all have areas made of iron that pull us to sin. But we need to overcome and turn those areas of iron into pure gold so we can resist the pulls of sin on us.

        Mining for gold

        The California Gold Rush began on Jan. 24, 1848, when gold was discovered by James Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in California. Soon after, 300,000 people came to California to try to strike it rich!

        Early on in the gold rush, gold was very abundant and easy to find. Many could just pick it up from the ground. But later it was more difficult to find gold. Once gold became scarce, it was no longer possible for people to easily strike it rich quick. So miners developed different methods to get the gold. Some of these methods were panning, ore crushing and hydraulic mining.

        Early on, the miners simply panned for gold in California’s rivers and streams. Panning was the easiest technique; however, it was the least efficient. As time went on, gold mining became much more sophisticated. In later years, hydraulic mining became popular, as it proved to be a more efficient way to hunt for gold. Hydraulic mining involved using high-pressure hoses to wash away the dirt so miners could get to the gold.

        Building golden godly character

        Mining gold is similar to building godly character. There are certain parts of our life where building godly character is easier for us. Likewise, there are certain areas where we have to face high pressure to remove all the dirt and get to the good stuff. Are we willing to put in the work? Water is a well-known symbol for God’s Spirit. Will we use His Spirit for hydraulic mining to obtain that spiritual gold?

        Gold is a highly valued metal because of its rarity, beauty, workability and durability. Part of our job now is to be building godly character. Using God’s power, can we become incorruptible and avoid sin’s magnetic field? Can we say what Job said when faced with those tests? “I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

  2. There is no strength comparable to God, so why are we so readily deflected, so easily pulled in alternate directions? Perhaps we are vulnerable to the power of proximity.

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