The Four Cs is a term that stands for the four characteristics that are used to determine the value of a diamond. They are: carat, cut, clarity and color. In order to establish it’s retail value, the characteristics are graded and categorized by the diamond industry.
Full disclosure, I am somewhat of a nerd. I get daily e-mails from different sources with a “Word (or Phrase) of the Day”. Today’s term was The Four Cs. As I was skimming over it, an analogy whacked me in the face.
Is it just me, or does this sound exactly like what we are up against as people in today’s world? This is exactly how our society works, is it not? Take a closer look:
- The Cut refers to the diamond’s reflective properties.
- Clarity refers to the occurrence of inner flaws or inclusions in the diamond.
- Color refers to the presence or absence of a diamond’s color. Colorless diamonds allow more light to pass through than colored diamonds.
- Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. Larger diamonds are exponentially more valuable because of their rarity.
There are different ways to interpret these comparisons, but here is what first popped into my mind:
- Our Cut is how beautiful we appear
- Our Clarity is everything on the inside that is flawed…all of our struggles, hidden sins, skeletons.
- Color refers to the visual presence or absence of the socially accepted “best”. The best body. The best car. The best friendship. The best marriage.
- Carat is how much we have that is of earthly value.
In order to establish our overall value, we are graded and categorized by society.
Do you know what will happen if someone with enough influence one day decides that colorful diamonds are better than colorless? All of the colorless diamonds that were once so valuable and coveted will suddenly be worth much less. Did anything about the diamond actually change? No. The opinion and perception of “best” changed, and the earthly value followed.
Keeping ourselves from falling into this tricky pattern is tough. I constantly find myself trying to keep up, buying and adapting to the latest trends, regardless of whether I even like them or not! I have spent countless dollars and hours trying to make myself fit into outfits that someone hundreds of miles away decided looked “cool”, and more of the same trying to mold and shape my body to match someone else’s. But do you know what?
Even if I did look exactly like whoever the “best” is, it wouldn’t be enough, and there would be a new “best”.
There is always something more, always something “better” and always a standard we can’t realistically reach (and more importantly, don’t NEED to reach). But we try. We force it, and I’ll be the first to say that the result often comes out a bit ridiculous looking.
So how do we fight back? I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know the best place to start: Jesus’s love. John 15:19 says:
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”
Do we really want the love of the world? Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? It certainly does feels good to be in the praised spotlight. But inevitably, at some point, you and I will also be in the spotlight for the opposite. Think about how much pressure comes with that kind of love.
Our society is a cold-hearted lover and a fair-weather friend.
Thankfully we have the option of a love that is the opposite, a love that we can rest in. While we will always be aware of what society thinks is “best” because we are human,
we do not have to live in slavery to standards that someone else sets.
Romans 12:2 tells us not to “conform to the pattern of this world”, but instead be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I used to view this verse as a stressful command. But it’s an invitation! It’s an invitation to freedom. God wants us to be free from society’s cruel standards. He wants to renew our minds, to free us…because He loves us. And I think we should let Him.
Who decided colorless diamonds look better, anyways?
Source for this term: Investopedia