The Scales

I rolled my eyes, frustrated, exhaling deeply as a grumble rolled off my lips. The scale on which I stood smirked back at me. I sensed a hint of smugness rising from the scales as if it enjoyed revealing its discovery.

I stepped off the scale to doublecheck the zero setting. Surely, the zero setting must have changed. Not only was the scale zeroed out, the setting proved to be a bit generous in my favor—slightly less than zero. Seriously? Give me a break!

I looked again at the scales. Deep suspicion swirled within me as if staring in the face of a traitor.

For the second time, it seemed as if the bathroom scale was gleefully enjoying its revelation of the hard truth of my weight. To add insult to my wounded pride, the arrogance of the scale was further compounded as I needed to come to terms with the fact that the scale had generously absorbed two additional pounds hidden beneath the zero setting.

I hate when that happens.

A desperate complaint exited my lips. “How old is this bathroom scales anyhow?” I wondered aloud. “Surely, we have need for a newer and more tech savvy scales which would be more accurate, dependable, and would serve me and our household better.”

Months earlier, as I planned my ten-week sabbatical, I set a lofty goal of losing two pounds per week. On paper this seemed so right and so good. Practically, however, as week two of my sabbatical began, I was not only behind my goal, but it seemed like the scale was frozen in its calculation.

My strategy was simple—eat less and exercise daily. I was following my strategy faithfully as if I were in boot camp. I was hungry all the time. My muscles testified that exercise was indeed happening somewhere.

Bathroom scale: I demand of you, “Show me results!”

Through wise counsel of wife and friends, they encouraged me to stick with my plan. In time, they assured me, weight would begin to fall off. They were right. By about week four, pounds started to fall.  The scale was no longer smirking at me. I was on task to hit my goal.

On the last day of my sabbatical, I stood next to the scale. I triple checked its reading to ensure it was zeroed out. As I placed my full weight on it, the scale revealed that I not only met, but had surpassed my goal.

This old scale had now become my friend.

This silly old bathroom scale taught me a faith lesson about myself and perseverance.

In life, instantaneous results are much more fun and exciting. Outcomes requiring minimal sacrifice or a little commitment are quite attractive and easily marketed; however, when it comes to faith, instantaneous results and minimal commitment are rarely how I experience life with Christ.

Just as I wanted to critique and deflect the truth of what the scale was telling me about myself, the same can occur in faith. One can conclude the scale must be the problem when it is actually us.

Spiritual things I may long for can be painfully slow in coming to fruition. Or, perhaps one might pray for a situation and see no or little change. One may be working very hard, setting measurable goals, and implementing disciplines to help achieve the goals, only to observe the scale seemingly locked on old results.

Perhaps one even looks at the old scale and wonders, “Is this still relevant and trustworthy?”

Indeed, it is.

Perseverance is a consistent appeal threaded throughout the New Testament. Perhaps because spiritual things we work for, long for, or desire to see, can seem so slow in reflecting results.

Stay the course. Keep an eye on your spiritual diet. Don’t give up your spiritual exercises.

In time, the “scales” will reveal change…and the change will begin with us.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 (NLT)