Have you ever noticed that there’s usually something inexplicably right about things being kept in balance?
I’m getting so used to digital scales, that I can’t remember the last time I actually used a traditional scale to balance out two weights. Even so, it’s easy enough to picture. First, the scale itself must be correct, if it’s even slightly crooked, then a true balance will never be achieved. Then you have to have your weights. All sorts. Test out your scales, see how the heavier side is always lower? The lighter side is always higher? Now, make them equal. Pull out a small level, if you must, and use that to ensure that your scale is completely balanced. Stand back and admire what you’re looking at.
Objects are easy enough to balance, but when it comes to an individual, it’s much more difficult to find our balance. Our first problem is that our scale is askew. If Christians use the Bible as their measure, it won’t be long before they find that things just don’t add up. We can’t use the rules of First Century Judea under Roman rule to govern our lives as Twenty-First Century Christians living anywhere on the globe. Things like slavery and racism are supposed to be things of the past, not something that’s normal or o.k. – true, we still have a long way to deal with all the sources of inequalities; but we had better start making progress or we’ll never get to fly around in space ships in a future where there’s no poverty, hunger, disease, or war on planet Earth and our main goal is to improve ourselves on an individual basis.
Now that we understand we are living in different time and place, we have to figure out what will be the rules of that future. We must work hard to overcome the prejudices of sexism, nationalism, classism, racism, and all the other -isms as well as all discrimination against various personal preferences. I always find it interesting that for all of the Bible’s rules (the Pharisees found hundreds of laws) and there are lots of them – Jesus (he’s important) liked just two of them –
The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:34-40
So let’s get all these superfluous things off of our scales, and reset our balance based on these two things. It’s much easier, I promise.