Tipping the Scale

October 26, 2014

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Today is the 3rd Anniversary of NoSuperHeroes. In honor of this, I have re-engineered the first-ever post, editing it and sprucing it up a bit. As you will see, we started with an emphasis on grace and relationship with God. Three years and 324 posts later, this is still the goal. Hope you’ve enjoyed the journey. Please tell others and join the conversation designed to inspire us toward a deeper walk with Jesus!


What is the primary focus in our walk with God?

Is it our sin: knowing what sin is, staying away from it, and trying to pay for it when we fail?

Or, are we focused on Jesus?

In the book of Acts, we see the early church as being focused on Christ in spite of their mistakes and growing pains.

As Christians, our battle against sin can begin to consume us.

We’ve heard the admonition to “take every thought captive to obey Christ,..” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

By the way, how is that working for you? Seriously, every thought. How can men even know each thought when we spend so much time in the “nothing” space! Anyway, moving on…

While growth and change is the goal we want to move towards (knowing this side of heaven we will not achieve it in perfection), it can create unreal expectations for what our lives look like today.

We read our Bible, go to church, and pray as some form of Christian karma; trying to work off our bad deeds.

Rather than these Christian practices being life-giving activities through which we pursue God, they become drudgery.

A friend of mine is a former Muslim. He has shared with me how Islam teaches about a giant scale in heaven that weighs out good deeds compared with the bad. Sleeping with a woman, could take away 40 days of ritual prayers, thereby tipping your scale towards the bad. As he shared this story, the realization hit me.

Many of us as believers have more in common with Muslims than we do with grace.

Are we Christian Muslims? Are we karma practicing believers like a Hindu?

Do we do certain “good things” in hopes of tipping the scales in our favor?

495550 old scales

We run ourselves ragged attempting to tip cosmic scale of good and bad in our favor.

The natural process of growth brings with it an increase in the awareness of sin and God’s standard of holiness. It can often feel as if we are not growing, but getting worse! We are like a mouse of a wheel, running really hard and fast but seemingly getting nowhere!

Striving daily, we eventually fall in failure like Paul, exclaiming, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 8:24)

Who can rescue us from being a slave to the scale?

Is tipping the scale in our favor even possible?

Paul answers his own question. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 8:25)

While being ruthless with sin is a godly response, it cannot be the focus of our faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “..let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,..”

The focus is not sin. Our GPS should be set towards Christ.

As we look to Christ, He will help us deal with sin.

Jesus is the source of growth and change in our lives, not our own willpower.

Do you find yourself consumed with your sin and attempts to be free from it?

Try focusing on Christ and see how your perspective (and your success rate) changes!

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God

9 responses to Tipping the Scale

  1. Great word Chris! Very thought provoking.

  2. I battle with this very thing! Thanks

  3. “Many of us as believers have more in common with Muslims than we do with grace.” … Powerful word!

  4. Great thoughts. I was recently reading a book by an [atheist] psychologist who talked about the guilt functions in a person’s psyche. He suggested that guilt is a sort of currency in the economy of the mind. When a person done bad, they feel guilty for it for an allotted time in proportion to the severity of the offense, and then their slate is clean again. He goes on to suggest that guilt, therefore, really functions to keep us in a cycle of doing bad, because when we feel guilty, it really means we are going to do ‘it’ again; for we are only purchasing back our demerit to ready ourselves for another purchase of ‘bad’. I thought this was pretty profound insight from someone who had no real solution for guilt. He literally just suggested to stop feeling guilty, which is hardly possible unless one’s conscience is completely seared. Upon reflection, it dawned on me that guilt is little more than a substitute for grace. Guilt appeases our mind but it does not appease God.

  5. Grace…
    Chris, you are full of it.

  6. Only the atoning sacrifice of Jesus appeases God, the guilt God allowed him to embrace on our behalf. And on our end of it, only by embracing grace will we truly be able to overcome our sin. Again, by embracing guilt building up credits so we can walk right back into sin, so by embracing guilt we secretly embrace sin. This is a great deception. But if we embrace grace we won’t in our minds have a license to sin again, but will instead respond in a Christ-ward manner, because grace is what makes us fall in love with God. Guilt makes God our enemy. Guilt keeps us focused on ourselves / sins, while grace keeps us focused on Christ & his forgiveness. Embracing grace allows us to break the cycle (sin-guilt-sin) and move forward in freedom and becomes the new currency, only it is a one time payment. I think it is the responsibility of a Christian, therefore, to reject guilt as sin and receive the grace of Christ even in the midst of sin. That’s the only thing that will free us of the cycle.

  7. Beautifully written..really needed to hear this at this moment.

  8. I recently used the scales as a physical illustration in a Sunday morning service to describe the true meaning of Justice. As you have said God does not judge us on our good vs. bad deeds. On His Scales of Justice it is His Justice on one side vs. whether or not Jesus is on the other side with us. Justice literally means, morally equal and when we have Jesus with us on the scale we are declared “Equal”. Praise God.