Weights are used on scales to check whether something is the correct weight or not. If someone wants to buy 5kg of flour a 5kg weight is put on one side and the flour is put on the other until the scales are balanced. If the 5kg weight drops down then there is too little flour on the other side. If the flour drops down then there’s too much flour and some has to be removed. So, the Lord weighs up our lives against his own righteousness. As far as righteousness is concerned, with God’s righteousness on the one side and ours on the other the scale tips completely to God’s side as we have no righteousness of our own. As far as sin is concerned the scale tips completely to our side as God has no sin and we are sinful to the core. The only way that the scales can be balanced is if we give God our sin and he gives us his righteousness, which he did at the cross.
Proverbs 21: 2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.
1. The heart is deceitful
A person may think his ways are right! The question is what is our standard against which we measure our ways, our actions, our attitudes?
Jeremiah 17: 9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
How often we hear the statements like “I’m a good person because I don’t harm anyone”, “I help a lot of people so I consider myself to be a good person”, “I’m not like that person who is so terrible so in light of that I’m a good person”. And rightly so you may be a good person, but are you a righteous person?
A good person does good things for people and is kind, and so on. However, a good person might not be a righteous person as righteousness only comes from God and puts us into a right standing with him.
Philippians 3: 8 – 9 I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
If a man tells his son to clean the garden and rake up all the leaves, but he doesn’t do it and goes and helps his mother in the kitchen even though she might not need his help, the son has done something good but he didn’t do what was right. The right thing to do would to have been obedient to his father and cleaned the garden. Hence, there is a difference between doing what is good and doing what is right, which is always good.
A good person measures themselves against themselves:
2 Corinthians 10: 12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
A good person measures themselves against others:
Luke 18: 9 – 14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
2. Weights of the heart
Before the weights of our hearts can be lifted, we need God to reveal to us the true condition of our own hearts and what weighs them down.
Satan has blinded us to the truth of our conditions and to God
2 Corinthians 4: 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
It is only God who can remove our spiritual blindness so that we can see the true condition of our hearts, and to see his righteousness.
John 9: 39 – 41 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
Besides the overall condition of our hearts, we are all different and the weights of our hearts differ from person to person, or at least the different aspects differ in prominence from person to person.
Matthew 15: 16 – 20 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
Galatians 5: 19 – 21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Besides these sinful weights of the hearts, there are others, such as guilt and shame, fear, anxiety, depression, stubbornness, and the like.
Sometimes other people, even religious leaders, can put weights on your hearts that you can’t bear:
Luke 11: 46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
What is weighing your heart down today? Bring it to the Lord and let him lift it off your heart.
3. Lifting of the weights
What we can’t do for ourselves God does for us. Not only has He got the ability to lift the weights off our hearts, He also desires to do so and invites us to himself for him to take them on himself.
Matthew 11: 28 – 29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Jesus)
Jesus already took the burden of our sin on himself when he died on the cross. We need to humble ourselves and come to him in faith and repentance for the action on the cross to be applied to us personally.
Isaiah 53: 4 – 5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Does this mean that we are immediately rid of all sin and its devastating effects on our lives? No, it doesn’t. By coming to him in faith and repentance we are forgiven of all sin and put into a right relationship with God, but it still takes time and coming to him daily to submit ourselves, and the effects of sin on our lives to him for him to remove the weights from our hearts.
The effects of sin on our lives can be due to our own sin or the sin of others against us. NOTE that all sin is ultimately against God.
These effects can be addictions, bad habits, depression, fear, guilt and shame, to name a few.
When Jesus cried out on the cross “It is finished” he had left nothing undone. There is nothing more to do. We need to bring our sin and its effects and lay them down at the cross for him to lift them off our shoulders according to what he has already done for us.
Don’t carry the weights of your heart when God has already invited you to lay them on his shoulders – he has already carried them. Believe it!