On a scale of…..

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There are many different scales to weigh things from huge to tiny…. but they all weigh something. There are musical scales, which are something I know nothing about except that because of I like music and singing…. something most of us appreciate and love. There are scales of justice, which is a metaphor for truth and fairness, something that the judicial system is theoretically searching for as they weigh evidence. A scale which I had never heard of, and which I have tossed in for a little yuk, is scales of production. You never want to run out of things like shampoo, milk, soft drinks, right? Scale of production ensures that you don’t because in simple man’s terms (like mine) it simply means that for some products, manufacturing plants keep the production lines running 24/7 so I can have my milk.

There’s another scale, one that many Christians use. I’m not so sure that it has a formal name, but if I were God, I think I would name it The Slippery Slope. Slopes have a high end, and they have a low end so this would make another perfect metaphor. In keeping with the theme, it seems natural that the high end of the slope implies “big”, while the low end of the slope clearly implies “little”. The “slippery” portion of the name implies the message “you better watch it there, buddy”, while the “slope” portion of the name would almost cause one to sense that such things as “out of control” or “crash” could be on the horizon.

The Slippery Slope I refer to is how many Christians view that little (really??) matter of sin in their lives. Many of us tend to view our individual sin from a world view as opposed to how it grieves God. We struggle with looking at our sin as something that grieves God. It grieves Him because He hates sin. At times I find myself asking, “why do I shy away from, or not consider, the fact that my sin grieves God?”. I find that that question arises after (often much after) I beat myself up over some sin I have just committed. I think that it is significant to note that the lesson to learn there might be that I am more concerned about how I feel about my sin at that time than how God views it.

“The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”

Psalm 11:5

So, what do I mean by viewing sin from a world view? Actually, owning might be a better word in this instance. I think it is fair to surmise that most of us zero in on the fact that we live in a world surrounded by sin, a fallen world as we typically call it. We view ourselves as fighting sin, with the tacit implication that we are fighting off sin that surrounds us…. that because it surrounds us, we can easily succumb to it or fall prey to it. When we hold that view it becomes easier to lose sight of the fact, or at least diminish it, that we, on our own, actually made the active choice to sin. That diminishment helps us to “feel better” about our sin. Again, proof that we are perhaps more concerned about how we feel about our sin than how God feels about it.

Something that ties directly in with that is the scale I touched on earlier, the one I would call The Slippery Slope. I believe that we are quite prone (and perhaps used to) to thinking about our sin in terms of “badness” or “wrongness”…. almost as if we have attached a weighted scale to it. Sexually abusing a small child would most assuredly be a “10” on that scale and telling a “little white lie” would probably be a “1”. Do you see where I’m going here? Besides giving us some false solace about some of our sin (the stuff on the bottom of the slope), I think that outlook toward sin can also cause us to tend to think toward the possibility that somehow God grades on the curve as regards sin. The inherent, and absolute troubling factor in this line of thinking is that it all buys into the world view of sin and not the biblical view. It’s a clear indication that we are more concerned about how we feel about our sin than how it grieves God. It’s a sign that our focus is on us and not on our holiness.

On a scale of…………..

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