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How will you weigh your choices when life is in the balance?

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Presentation on theme: "How will you weigh your choices when life is in the balance?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How will you weigh your choices when life is in the balance?
3 questions for choosing well at work and in life For thousands of people in the world, life is in the balance: Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, South Asian floods, earthquake in Mexico. The worst: Rohingya refugees – nearly 200,000 people Today, I want to talk about how to weigh choices when life is in the balance. Life in the balance = the grey zone where it’s not clear what’s wrong or right. How do we do the right thing when it’s not clear what’s right or wrong? It’s hard to weigh…

2 The art of balance = choose well and treat others fairly in a balanced way

3 Chatree Duangnet Low standards in Chiengmai.
As a young doctor he did everything. But he was not held to high standards. Lives were lost. Went to US and trained as a pediatrician. Focused on healthcare quality management. One day he got a call to return to Thailand. Will you develop quality management in Bangkok hospital? Three years of hell. Rejected by wife and kids. Rejected by staff. What should he do: Return to United States or remain in Thailand? How will he weigh life’s choices? Chatree Duangnet

4 Communal Scripture reading
Proverbs 11:1 (NIV) “A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.” Any word that puzzled or surprised you? “abomination” “false balance” “just weight” “delight” Stand and read Which word puzzles or surprises you most? Why? Abomination Practices that are abhorrent/repugnant/detestable to God = disgusting

5 “weights” and “balances” in Bible
God detests false scales and weights God demands accurate scales and weights Proverbs 20:23 The LORD detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales. Hosea 12:7 A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress. Micah 6:11 Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights? Deuteronomy 25:13 You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. Leviticus 19:36 Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 45:10 Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid.

6 Proverbs 11:1 “Deceptive balances are an abomination to the Lord, but a full weight finds his favour” (Bruce Waltke) Proverbs 16:11: “The Lord demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.” weight Surprise #1 God gets so angry about false or deceptive balances. Why is a bit of cheating in the market by using rigged weights so abominable? Is it as bad as a list of other abominations: idolatry, child sacrifice, dishonesty, stealing, murder, oppressing the poor, and a lying tongue (as highlighted by Han Meng last week)? Yes! Surprise #2 Why is God so interested in measurements and balances? balance

7 when life is in the balance: 3 questions
Do you detest dishonest scales? Proverbs 11:1 Do you demand accurate and fair standards? Proverbs 16:11 Do you delight in what God delights? Proverbs 11:1 Today we will explore what disgusts God and what delights God, and what that means for us as we work in daily life. What God detests and delights in will guide us on how to choose well and give good weight – especially in ethically grey situations. When things are grey, how do we give good weight? In ethically grey situations, how do we choose well? When the rules are not clear, what do we do? To choose well and to give good weight, we need to ask ourselves three questions: Do you detest dishonest scales? Do you demand accurate and fair standards? Do you delight in what God delights in? Let’s pray.

8 Do you detest dishonest scales?
Proverbs 11:1 Proverbs 11:1 “Deceptive balances are an abomination to the Lord, but a full weight finds his favour” (Bruce Waltke)

9 bring weighing machine.
Today developing fair and accurate standards is a science. Time is measured based on an atomic clock. Kilogram is measured based on… Length is measured based on…

10 bring weighing machine.
Today developing fair and accurate standards is a science. Time is measured based on an atomic clock. Kilogram is measured based on… Length is measured based on…

11 Kilogram The Kilogram (kg) is equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram, a platinum-iridium cylinder kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures laboratory at Sèvres, France. (It’s the only SI unit based on a physical object vs a mathematical constant) The SI definition of second is "the duration of periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom" The metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/ seconds

12 Second The SI definition of second is “the duration of periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom” The SI definition of second is "the duration of periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom" The metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/ seconds

13 Meter The SI defition of the metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/ seconds

14 In order to use weights, balances or scales were needed
In order to use weights, balances or scales were needed. Precious metals and materials were weighed. Small items were measured on a beam-balance with two scales. You use two plates attached to an overhead beam, itself fixed on a central pole. The measurement was taken by putting the object measured on one plate and weight-setting stones on the other, until equilibrium was reached. This system can be very accurate, but it can also be easily cheated. How can you rig the balances? You can falsify the weight stones (too heavy for purchasing; too light for selling); you can falsify the pan; you can make the arm lengths unequal; you can rig the fulcrum. "Deceptive balances”. The weigh-masters were influential officials - meant to be trusted. How do you rig a balance?

15 Weight stones from First Temple Period:
Two-shekel stone In biblical times, it was absolutely normal for weights and measures to have different standards. Measurements were a grey zone in ancient times. Metrology (the determination of distances, capacities and weights) was not an exact science. No reliable or coherent system was been worked out. Systems varied from city to city and from region to region. The shekel is the basic weight used in the ancient Sem. metrologies. However, there was no uniform weight for the The shekel has been estimated by various authorities as weighing between grams. In 1800BC, code of Hammurabi says a unskilled labourer who works for a year gets paid 10 shekels. How can you cheat with the weights? 1. Use smaller weights – when weighing the amount of gold you need to pay when buying 2. Use larger weights – when weighing the amount of gold you need to pay when buying 3. You can tamper with the stone – gouge out a hole and replace with a different material How do you cheat with weight stones?

16 Dishonest scales become most detestable at scale
Detestable example: migrant policy has resulted in slavery of migrant workers in SEA and Malaysia Exploits the poor and weak Detestable example: taxes. The world’s rich have created tax shelters and lobbied governments to save them save trillions of tax dollars. Enriches the rich and powerful Creates long-term, hard-to-understand and invisible system that is legitimised as policy/law/truth. Detestable example: trade policies and “trickle-down economics.” “The problem is not that international trade is inherently opposed to the needs and interests of the poor, but that the rules that govern it are rigged in favor of the rich.” Disadvantages others, advantages self

17 Reflect: Are you actively or complicitly involved with dishonest scales?
Think of your current work as employee, boss, student, homemaker or retiree. In what ways could you be you actively involved or, complicit in, or turning a blind eye to: Exploiting poor and weak? Enriching rich and powerful? Disadvantaging others to advantage self?

18 Do you demand accurate and fair standards? Proverbs 16:11
“The Lord demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.”

19 Demand accurate and fair standards for common good and common grace
Take a stand against wrong standards in society Example: EPIC Homes (M’sia) started as an externally-focused church that now bridges urban & rural divide Design good living standards in broken places Example: Kingdom Business Community (Indonesia) fights the 4 giants and pays taxes Build communities that live out Kingdom standards Gawad Kalinga brings corporates, MBA students and govt to serve the slums (250,000 families)

20 Panel Forum on Standards
Restauranteur Conservation Oil & Gas

21 Forum on standards Tell us about yourself, where you are from, and what industry you work in. What are the most serious consequences when standards are not upheld in your industry? What is the most important standard you are personally seeking to uphold in your current capacity, and how can we pray for you?

22 Discuss What is one opportunity – where you are – for you to demand accurate and fair standards: Take a stand against what’s wrong Design good living standards Build communities based on Kingdom standards Personal example: Take a stand: SST Design standards: ESG Build communities: Covenant groups

23 in what God delights? Proverbs 11:1
C Do you delight in what God delights? Proverbs 11:1 Proverbs 11:1 “Deceptive balances are an abomination to the Lord, but a full weight is his delight”

24 God delights in the ordinary
Delight in good work: Excellent, Enjoyable, ethical God delights in ordinary things – weight stones, balances, honest merchants. Piper: “God finds pleasure in things done right.” Standards touch everything in life. “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” Just as God delights in Christ, so do we. The life of Christ shows us that Jesus did not consider equality/standards with God as something to be grasped. We will inevitably fall short of our standards – and God’s standards. But Christ redeems everything. Delight in the life, death and resurrection of Christ Delight in the Word of God Matthew the Poor’s reflection

25 Matthew the Poor “The Bible as God’s message to you”
So, dear Reader, the nature of the Bible is revealed and renewed before you. When you approach the Holy bible it is not as a book of knowledge or science. Rather, it is a personal message from God to you, an inheritance containing rights sealed with God's covenants. If you believe him, you will receive and reign. He will give you life as He transforms you more and more into God’s image — moving, thrusting you forward, and encouraging you to fathom more of the depths of this fellowship in righteousness, holiness and truth.

26 3 actions when life is in the balance
Detest dishonest scales Proverbs 11:1 (confession) Demand accurate and fair standards Proverbs 11:1 (petition) Delight in what God delights Proverbs 11:1 (thanksgiving)

27 Legacy of Chatree’s quality and standards
Chatree Duangnet. Set high standards. JCI for Thailand. Now Bangkok is the capital in the world for medical tourism. Standards create excellence. He did it because he was obeying God’s call. Accept God’s curriculum in your life


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