Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Check your scale

I had good intentions to watch my diet and exercise regularly this summer. But alas, my good intentions ended up being just that - intentions. I hadn't weighed myself in a while, so I climbed on the bathroom scale one morning and did not like what I saw. But it got even worse. The number kept creeping higher and higher, about half a pound a day. Was my metabolism changing this drastically? Had menopause finally caught up with me with a vengeance? Finally it dawned on me that the scale might be broken. I tested this by weighing myself multiple times throughout the day, and sure enough I gained 3 pounds by the evening. Time to get another scale. Out of curiosity, I weighed myself a few days later and "lost" 2 pounds. The next day was another 2 pound drop. Hmmm, maybe this scale wasn't so bad after all? I'd soon be down to my ideal weight if I "lost" 2 pounds a day. But there was a big problem. The scale was lying, and I would be lying to myself if I believed it.

But isn't this just like human nature? Tell me what I want to hear. Tell me what makes me feel good, and for goodness' sake, don't tell the truth! But the Word of God isn't so obliging.

It does not lie. It does not flatter. It cuts deep, revealing the thoughts and motives of our hearts. (Heb. 4:12) As C.H. Spurgeon says, "As a man sees his outward self in the looking glass, so may he see his inward self in the Word of God."1 Our depravity isn't a pretty sight, and it would be enough to undo us, but there is more, much more. In the Word, we see God's plan of redemption fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We see His atoning death for our sins, His sinless life, and by saving grace, we find ourselves in Him. (1 Cor. 1:9) The Word can still be painful when it shines it's spotlight into dark corners, bringing to light hidden sins. But this is accompanied by the call to repent, confess, and believe and the Holy Spirit's enabling to take another step on the sanctification road.

There may be alternatives that are more soothing to my ears (2 Tim. 4:3-4), but they are as accurate about my spiritual condition as my broken bathroom scale is about my weight. When it comes to God's truth, there is only one standard, His Word.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work
2 Tim. 3:16-17

1. The Looking Glass, Sermon No. 1848, C.H. Spurgeon, July 5, 1885.

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