Monday, January 16, 2012

Home Improvement

The Lord abhors dishonest scales but accurate weights are His delight. Prov 11:1

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7: 1-3

What does having an honest scale and making judgments have to do with home improvement? Read on and find out.

Proverbs 11 talks about having honest scales, being accurate when it comes to weighing something out. When this was written, one did not go to the store and purchased pre-packaged items, what you bought was weighed out and paid for on a pre-determined weight basis. Having accurate scales meant the purchaser got what they paid for, may be more if the merchant was generous, but certainly not less. If you purchased a five pound bag of flour, you got 5 lbs, not 4.95. What is the .5 you were shorted worth? Over multiple sales a nice profit for the seller and many potential repeat sales when customers ran short, which meant….more profit. Nice for an unjust merchant, not so nice for his ripped off customers.

This verse goes will beyond having an accurate scale for weighing natural items. It is about our own internal justice system. How easy is it and how often do we excuse behavior in ourselves, only to condemn others for the same thing?

Jesus addressed this very situation very sternly in Matthew 7. Being completely human as we are, Jesus was tempted to do the same things we do. Perhaps, the temptation was even greater for Him because He didn’t have “sawdust” in His eyes but He was surrounded by plenty of people with 2x4’s in theirs. If anyone could have been the poster child for self righteousness and gone about tooting His own horn and patting Him self on the back for a job well done, it was Jesus. He did not do that and He doesn’t want us to do it either.

Why? Jesus was subject to the Word of God the same way we are. Being God in human form did not exempt Him from the consequences of the Word of God, whether good or bad. Jesus knew all about Romans 2:1 before Paul ever wrote it. Jesus knew that in judging others, the door was opened to becoming just like them and that was a price He was not willing to pay. He did take on all of our sin, and it’s penalty, in order to free us, but he did not participate in it.

God wants us to be ruthlessly honest about ourselves while extending gracious and liberal mercy to other. This doesn’t seem “fair” but then, God does not “play fair” He “plays just”. We know all the circumstances and details in our lives and we are capable of judging ourselves and our actions. We do not have this information about others and so we are not equipped to render judgment on them. John 5:20 states that even the Father does not judge anyone, He gave that responsibility to Jesus. When was the last time you read about a judge who passed sentence and then took the punishment and let the accused go? That’s what Jesus did for us.
Jesus is very capable of helping us get the 2x4’s out of our eyes and even better, He will show us how to keep them out permanently. 

How about you, time for some home improvement?

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the analogy of the unjust scales tied in to judging. The insight concerning that we have knowledge about what's in our lives but really don't have enough info about what's in anothers to judge them. Thank God He isn't fair, but just and merciful. I am glad God is the judge!