Sweaty from a bike ride, the lean, hungry teens loomed over the warm applesauce cake their mother had baked that just out of the oven. Carbs and calories! Just the ticket to hold them over before dinner.
“Mom, do you want any of this?” Bob wanted to know.
“Nope, go ahead. I made it for you,” his mother answered, waving them toward the wonderful aroma of the spicy cake.
“This has got to be fair,” Bob declared to his brother, Sam, who had a knife poised and was planning to eyeball and estimate each piece. “Hold it! To be fair, we’re going to use science and math.”
“Okay. It will be even Steven,” the sibling agreed as he put his high school math lessons to work. Sam grabbed a building square, two plates, and figured the number of inches of cake divided by two.
“The perfect calculation right down to a sixteenth of an inch! What could be fairer?” Sam cut the snack right down the center line, ready to serve up his part.
“Not so fast!” Bob insisted. “One more measurement will make this equal!” The boy rummaged through the cabinet until he found his mom’s food scale, which bottomed out under the weight of half a cake. He then slapped a bath scale on the kitchen floor, weighed himself and the cake, subtracted and calculated the sum of the portion.
After measuring and weighing, the two divided the cake on two dinner plates. The snack held them over for sixty minutes when the family gathered around the table for dinner when fairness and measurement, once again, was a prime teen consideration.
In Proverbs 11:1, King Solomon wrote, “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.” But much before that was the challenge of integrity and its value in business and professional dealings.
More than 3500 years ago, God commanded Moses to teach about the people, “Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.” [Leviticus 19:35-36].
What was in it for them? Many blessings, including respect
from around the known world. Talking of God’s laws, Moses wrote, “See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the as the Lord your God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” [Deuteronomy 4:5-6]
How is this relevant to us today? Because honesty and fairness in action in everyday life speaks louder than words. What others see is what we are to them. Character is a ripple effect impacting our coworkers, families, friends and children. What others don’t see, God does and knows. Can others trust us? Can God?
If fairness takes a building square and a scale as it did with Sam and Bob, let the honesty of your character and spiritual life shine and grow. You’ll even sharpen your math skills!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]