Dishonest Scales

Message: Like most of the Proverbs, chapter 20is full of practical wisdom about how to live. Lately I keep noticing this one thing that pops up all over the Proverbs about how the Lord detests “differing weights” or “dishonest scales”. At the basic level I understand this to mean that we need to be honest and fair when we sell things. The bible describes a dishonest scale as one that weighs under the amount for buying and weighs over the amount when selling in order to gain an unfair advantage. I usually gloss past these verses because I don’t have a business or anything to sell so it has seemed like a less impactful scripture for me. Except that every time I read the Proverbs these scriptures seem to jump out at me for no particular reason that I can think of. This time around I decided I should ask God to show me what he wanted me to see here. While I do believe that God cares about how we handle money, I see that most of the time when scripture refers to money, it is also meant to teach us something much deeper about people and relationships. Literally as I began writing about this I started thinking about it in terms of people rather than material items I would sell. I started thinking about how I want to be treated fairly and given a fair opportunity or be given the benefit of doubt. When I thought about how this pertains to other people I started to feel  challenged about how much I do this for others. Do I give everyone the benefit of the doubt or do I measure some people on one scale and some on another. How gracious am I toward others in comparison to myself? Do I expect to be treated fairly while also treating someone else unfairly or do I hold other people responsible for things I don’t require out of myself? This is also known as a double standard. How much grace and tolerance to I extend to people I like in comparison to those I don’t like as much. Am I willing to acknowledge that someone is right even if I don’t like them or agree with them on most things? In what part of my life do I use scales with differing weights? I have definitely recognized unfairness in my tolerance level with certain people. There are some people that annoy me because of their behavioral antics, but if someone else that I like displays the very same behavioral antics I excuse it. I recognize that as long as I excuse these kinds of biases in my life I will not be very effective in reaching people that need what I have.

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