Faith and Family

Fine tuning the scales of life

By Lynn Jones

A little girl was showing the bathroom scales in her home to her friend. Looking at the scales, the little friend asked, “What is it?” The girl said, “I’m not sure. All I know is that you stand on it, and it makes you real mad.”

Scales play a major role in our lives. When you mail a package at the post office, they weigh it. When you buy fruit or meat at the grocery store, the price that you pay for them at the checkout usually will be determined by how much they weigh. When you go down the interstate, you pass scales where big trucks and their cargoes are being weighed.

These scales play an important role in the way we do our business. The value of something is often determined by its weight. The weightier it is, the greater its value.

We have no scales with which we can do that in life, but in a real sense we are always doing it. When we evaluate things, we assign a weight to them. We say of some things that they are “weighty” matters. On the other hand, we may treat some things “lightly.” 

There is just one problem with this. It is extremely hard to keep our scales regulated. They are forever malfunctioning.

Lynn Jones

Jesus said of the people of His day—especially the religious people, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law–justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matt. 23:23).

 That is our problem. We assign too much weight to some things in life. The things to which we assign too much weight are often external, legalistic things—the things that can be counted and entered on a chart. If we’re not careful, we will arrive at the end of our journey loaded down with things of small value, having missed the weightier matters on the journey.

Jesus told us what the weightier matters are. He identified them as “justice, mercy and faithfulness.” We are to be a people of justice—people who do what is right in our relationships with other people. Our lives are to be marked by mercy. We need to show love in what we say and do. We are also to be persons of faithfulness. We need to maintain our commitments to God and to others. These are weighty matters. 

If you pull an eighteen-wheeler loaded with steel onto a truck scale, the scale will register the weight. But if you pull an identical truck loaded with the Hope Diamond onto the scale it will not register at all, even though the diamond is of much more value. We have the same problem with our scales. We need to let Christ fine-tune the scales of our lives to identify the things of greatest value.

Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at:

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