67!? What? I’m 57 and have worked hard to remain in good shape and this stupid thing tells me that my WiiFit™ age is 67! Why? Because after running for 20 minutes and doing 30 minutes of combined yoga and cardio, my immediate balance wasn’t what it normally is. Yet that was the criteria which the unit’s design engineers used to determine my “WiiFit™ age” – age, weight and … balance! It didn’t take into account my abilty to bench press heavy weights or run without tripping – instead the focus was on balance!
Ten minutes later, my legs had relaxed and my focus had adjusted into showing this computerized guru just who was boss. It now procalimed that I was 39! Ah! That’s more like it. I felt much better. My pride was restored. I imagine that my blood pressure also probably dropped down from its ire induced rise.
This computer devise not only measures – but monitors your progress (and regress on the off days). As with all machines, they only “know” what they’re told – and therefore are intrinsically stupid; as was proven by the next question it flashed on the screen. “You have improved over your last test. Would you like to save these results?” Duh! Well, yeah!
Balance. What made this seemingly trivial test, the standard upon which my wellness was determined? After some thought and research, I found that proper balance is a combination of strength and stamina. Why do babies lack balance? Strength and stamina have yet to be developed. Why, as we age does our balance require the aid of a cane? Strength and stamina have diminished. So, I had to admit that the why’s and wherefore’s of this system do bear some credibility. However, I also realised that the best time to test balance is before those contributing attributes were exercised – not immediately afterwards. All of this thinking, in turn, made me think….
If tested on scales designed and monitored by God, what is my LifeFit age? How is my balance? How important is balance in regards to my spiritual fitness? Is there a Biblical standard providing answers to this… question of balance?
First, my search revealed that It appears that my questions are not new. Job, considered by many to be the oldest book in scripture, records him saying; “Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.” (Job 31:6) Ah! My first clue; “integrity”. But for an “even balance”, integrity must be weighed against something – but what? Proverbs 16:11 states that; “Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making.” OK – now we’re getting somewhere. But, just what are “the weights in the bag”? It points out that they are “of His making”. This led me to Exodus 20:3-17. The text known as the “Ten Commandments” are the weights which I sought. These regulations, of God’s making, were intended for us as a set of checks and balances. So how does my integrity stack up against such weighty statutes? “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me…. Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain…. Thou shalt….!” OK, I get the picture. When it comes to measuring up to God’s standards, the weight behind my integrity is lacking. So, how can I achieve better balance in this area of my life?
Well, first I need perspective. Can I live up to these standards? Since part of integrity is honesty… no. God is far beyond my comprehension and I’m not alone in that realization. Isaiah shares this revelation in 40:12 “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” Balance? In comparison with His majesty, I’m not about to leave an impression, much less tip the scales! Suddenly I felt like the children of Israel in Nehemiah 8:9 “The people wept when they heard the words of the law.”
Time for more research; because I know that God loves us and didn’t set us up to fail. Nehemiah goes on to compassionately point out in verses 10 and 11; “this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.”. OK, I’ll admit to feeling somewhat “sorry and grieved”. But, here we’re given a few more pieces of the puzzle. Along with integrity, we are given “the joy of the LORD” as a source of “strength” along with “peace”, to add to our side of the scales. What’s really great about that is that unlike integrity, which takes effort on my part, these are a gift! God knows that we are out of balance and He’s weighing in on our side with some much needed help! The acceptance of these gifts, combined with making an effort to live with integrity, raises your LifeFit age to a higher level of maturity.
Still, I look at the “Law” and feel like I’m sinking fast…. until I come upon Psalm 37:30, 31: “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.” and Psalm 64:10 “The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.” More attributes to add: “wisdom, just, gladness, and righteousness”. Oh, yeah! These I know are more gifts – fruit of the Spirit. The prospect of balance is looking like it can actually be attainable – with a LOT of help from God. Then Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans 3:10: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one!” Well, that shot a hole in the scales and my righteousness leaked out! But, just as a verse can’t be taken out of context, a spiritual Truth needs to be understood in context as well. Am I righteous? No. I’m a sinner saved by grace. Who lived a righteous life? Only One – Jesus! So, what better Source to look to than “The Living Word” Himself!
Since I’m out of spiritual balance with God’s Law, I wondered, what did Jesus have say on the subject? Matthew 5:17,18,19 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practises and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Wow! Jesus fulfilled that which I have no hope of coming close to and accomplished everything at which I fail miserably! He promised that my job is to practice these things – in other words, work at living a life of integrity, trusting Him as the Holy and Righteous Son of God – my LORD and Savior. I’m also to teach – share the Truth which he has shared with me. That’s what I’m doing as you read this.
Balance – True spiritual balance is not being on a level keel with God. That is a fool’s goal – utterly unattainable. God Alone had the power to take away the overwhelming weight of sin through the Righteous Life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The only thing we have to contribute is willingness to allow our loving, gracious Father to fill our lives with Himself. Without Him – balance is simply out of the question.