On A Scale of 1 to 10…

Lately, my life seems to have been reduced to a series of numbers on a scale… almost everywhere I go, I get asked to rate something. Just tonight, I was on the phone with the web help desk trying to learn why Janet and I were locked out of our investment accounts. Thankfully, the technical support guy was very patient with me and went through a series of “clarifying questions” to make sure I was who I said I was – and even Janet had to get in on the act to verify that it was okay to speak with me… go figure…

After more than 40 minutes on the phone, Brandon was able to talk me through the changes that needed to happen in order for us to keep access to our accounts online. I was exhausted from the experience… but I have to admit that when it was all said and done, everything was restored and working great! But, before I hung up, I was asked to answer a few questions about the call and the competency of the technical support. I complied and rated him – he was excellent!

Now that was just after I received an email asking me to rate my experience at the hotel I stayed at Monday evening before I was scheduled to teach on Tuesday. It was rather long, but once again, I did the survey because I was so satisfied with the renovated property.

Oh, and then I found a discount coupon in my wallet that I received the last time I had breakfast with my ministry partners. You can get $2 off your next meal if you go online and answer some survey questions. You guessed it – I did it…

But that wasn’t all. Earlier this week, when I went on my first consulting/teaching assignment in more than 3 months, I was asked numerous times in class how I was doing and to rate my pain, etc. I guess I should expect this from a group of doctors and nurses and I should be more tolerant because I’m with me all the time, but there are hundreds of folks out there who aren’t in touch with me every day and so they don’t see the progress I am making – or what I have to go through to gain one degree of flexibility or be able to lift an extra pound with my recovering knee. Clearly, they have been praying for me and wishing for a speedy recovery. Certainly, I didn’t want to come across as insensitive…

I’m even getting tired of being asked by the physical therapy people how I rate my pain each week. It’s so subjective day to day. Is a 5 today the same level of pain as a 5 yesterday? I guess it kind of depends what kind of mood I am in and what painkillers I may have taken…

Besides that, the brace came off for good yesterday and now I am trying to get used to walking again without external support. I think I am doing pretty well – in fact, on a scale of 1-10, I would give myself an 8. There – it happened again, using some sort of scale to rate how I am doing. As you can see, I am doing it to myself now!

On a more serious note, how are you doing in your relationship with God? How would you rate yourself? Are you growing closer, or are things slipping out of control? God tends to also look at our relationship with others as a measure of how we are doing with Him. And, in addition to that, we can tell how we are doing by assessing our relationship with our church and our commitment to the community of believers. Granted, there are no firm scales or metrics that are set out for us in the Bible, but there are verses that give us insight to the thinking of God.

Our verse for tonight gives us an illustration of this. Matthew tells us, in his Gospel, in Matthew 6:14-18, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

There you have it. Forgive others and be humble in your worship of the Lord. My encouragement this evening is that God rejoices when we please Him and follow His desires for our lives and how we treat others. My prayer is that we will each assess our spiritual journey with the Father and His Son and do everything we can to make sure we are a “10” when we finally get to heaven. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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