A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work. Proverbs 16:11.
I saw this verse from Proverbs in a daily devotional I receive by email each morning and thought about it for a long time. It languished in my list of potential writing topics for months while I tried to resolve how to say what I wanted to say on the subject. I am committed to considering balance this year, and this verse seemed especially relevant.
Then I read a wonderful book (The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott) and, like most good books do, it clarified my thinking and opened my mind and heart on the matter. The words came haltingly, at first, but eventually, they did begin to flow.
Most of us are committed to justice. Even if we are not a believer in karma, the concept appeals to our sense of fairness. There is a well-known verse from Galatians that discusses reaping and sowing (Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.) that is often quoted in circumstances when it seems as though the universe has dispensed equity.
When we hear of an instance of “what goes around comes around“, we sagely nod our heads and revel in the concept of cosmic fair play.
The only problem is that we interpret these quotes in the wrong way. Life isn’t fair. The universe does not dispense karmic justice. Children are abused, tsunamis sweep homes away, unethical individuals make obscene amounts of money by gaming the system, and bad things do happen to good people.
The point of the quote from Proverbs is that justice belongs to God; not necessarily here on earth. The justice that we have here may be inspired by God, but it comes from our own innate human sense of fairness.
And that is the good news. Life may be unfair, but (most) people are not. Studies have shown that even small children have a sense of what is fair. If researchers dispense uneven amounts of candy to two children, the child with the most candy will usually give some of his candy to the child with the least.
Not only that, we often will stand up for others who are being treated unfairly, sometimes at great personal expense, even if the unfair treatment does not immediately affect us. We do not tolerate injustice.
A just balance is the Lord’s and ultimately only He has the knowledge and power to judge, but in the temporal world, it’s up to us. Generosity, altruism, and egalitarianism guide us toward justice. They are the tools we have to work with, the weights in our bag.
*It is my plan to document the arrival of spring here in this corner of Southeastern Pennsylvania through the progression of blooming flowers. This is the sixth picture in the series. The flowers pictured above are Daffodils (Narcissus). These are my favorite flowers. I love their color, scent, and the fact that their blooming represents (to me) the true arrival of spring.
I am linking with Cee’s FOTD Challenge, Welcome Heart for Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring with Him for Recharge Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Reflections From Me for A Blogging Good Time, Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, Rachel Marie Lee, Knit by God’s Hand for Thankful Thursdays, Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends, Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire, and Worth Beyond Rubies.
Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.