Scripture: Deuteronomy 24-27
Key verses: (25:13-16) “You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house, two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and just weight you shall have, a full and just measure you shall have; that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.”
Reflection: This text warns of having two different sets of weights for measurement — the lighter one to be used when calculating a payment one owes, and a heavier one to measure what one is owed. It speaks to small, discreet acts of dishonesty that can whittle away at one’s integrity and slowly demean one’s faith in both God and humanity. It makes me wonder how we all might have different weights and measures in our lives that go without notice. Are we more generous to those who look like us and who are familiar to us? Are we less fair and kind to those who are different? Do we sometimes treat one child with favor because she is easy, and another with frustration because she is bold and independent all the while saying that we love them equally? The word “deceive” derives from the Latin decipere which means to “catch, ensnare, cheat.” How much are we cheating ourselves and others by allowing different standards for measure? More importantly, how do we truly commit to treating all humanity with an equally open and weighted heart? Thankfully, we have an example in the life of Jesus of what it looks like to use “one set of weights” for all. May we use this season of Lent to reflect upon and follow in Christ’s way.
Prayer: Dear God, please help me to discern when I am using different weights and measures in my dealings with others. Please forgive me. And, please help me to open my heart fully to being a person of true integrity in relation to all in the world. Amen.
Author: Betsy Fleming, Elder class of 2023
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].