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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Uneven balance

It was the late German theologian Thomas Kempis who reminded us how "seldom" it is that we actually "weighed" another by the same balance we use to weigh ourselves. We often find it easier to stand up for what we believe to be "right" in our own lives, but then overlook what might equally be right in the lives of another simply because we become so hyper-focused on their faults and our merits. As God handed down the Law of Moses, one of the particular things he required was "fair scales". He didn't want the people of Israel to become known as being "unfair" or "unethical" in their dealings with others. Their jars, baskets, and scales were all to be "correct measurements", so there would be no opportunity to take advantage of another. When we use "differing scales", we are taking advantage of others.

Stand up for what you know is right, and judge all people fairly. Protect the rights of the poor and those who need help. (Proverbs 31:8 ERV)


Kempis also reminded us the acknowledgement of our weakness is the very first step toward "repairing loss" in our lives. Anytime we overlook any weakness in ourselves, while hyper-focusing on it in others, we are actually creating a void that becomes deeper and wider between us. That void may not seem like much at first, but given time to expand and it will take a monumental work of bridge-building to get us back together! As our passage reminds us, it is our moral obligation to stand up for what is right - not just in ourselves, but in the lives of all those who surround us today. When we use unfair scales, we are standing up for what WE want to get out of a relationship, while often overlooking what it is the other person so desperately seeks.

To acknowledge one's own weakness FIRST is going to open the door for the relationship to develop open and honest communication, freedom of sharing, and a "bent" toward being our real selves. While my real self wears a halo that is a little bent, tarnished, and slightly askew, it soon becomes apparent to me that others suffer the same "condition". None of us has perfectly polished halos, although we may want others to think we do! Anytime we hold out the "polished" us as the one others "can see", we are using an unfair balance or scale. We are setting them up to believe the scales tip in our favor - but we forget how much is on the other side of the scale we don't want anyone to see! Rather than applying "unfair weights", let us learn what it is to use the same "scale" God uses - that of Christ himself. Any other scale is just a little too "uneven"! Just sayin!