I thought you’d like to know how I spent my morning. It started out with, “Hi. My name is Jim, and I’m a thief.” In response, everybody at the weekly meeting of “Thieves Anonymous” shouted back, “Hi, Jim!”
So much for remaining anonymous.
I didn’t start out the morning knowing I was a thief, but as soon as I opened my Bible and read this one verse in Proverbs, “The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight” (11:1), I had to close my Bible, pray and face that startling truth.
So what, you may be asking, have I been stealing? What are the dishonest scales I’ve been using in order to steal from other people?
The first that comes to mind are the inaccurate weights of my judgments of people based on items that make me feel good. Or, at the very least, feed my ego. For example, when I weigh people based on their looks, I’m using dishonest scales. I figure if that they are good looking, they must be a nice person. Then I read that Leo Tolstoy said, “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness,” and my tilted scales go crashing to the floor.
I’ve also used dishonest scales when I’ve inaccurately weighed people based on their talent. If they show obvious talent for music or computers, I figure they’d be great to have working in the church. But I overlook the person whose gift is to sit quietly before the throne of God and gently pray for every need that comes to mind.
I tilt the scales to my advantage when I wonder how a rich person may be able to bless me or the church, how a friendly person can make me feel or how a well-known person can boost my ego by just being with them. I know it how to create envy – or at the very least, curiosity – in others because I know a famous someone, so I’ll drop names of important people or celebrities I may know (or just think I know) because I saw them at a Denny’s, a concert or just on the street (all of those apply to me). Are you envious yet? I want you to be. Can you feel me stealing their celebrity status and using it for my own ego purposes?
The real theft takes place when I remove Christ from His rightful place as my Lord, my hope and my salvation, and I place my hope in people and what they can do for the church and me. Or more accurately, me and the church.
I use dishonest scales when I pray to God for an answer but look to people to provide the solution.
I use dishonest scales when I put more weight into how I look in the eyes of others than how I look in the eyes of God.
I use dishonest scales when I seek friendship with others based on what they can do for me instead of what I can do for them.
Now you know why I could read one verse of Scripture and conclude I’m just another thief. However, since the first step in recovery is to admit I’m powerless to overcome my problem on my own, I’m confident that God, having shown me my thieving ways, will be sure to offer me His solution. And what a relief it is to know His scales are perfectly balanced – in my favor.