Leaning Left Against the Plumb Line

I bruised a rib and pulled a muscle in my back in an accident last week.  For about a week I couldn’t stand up straight.  Even when I thought I was standing up straight, Tom would point out I was leaning left.  The injury is gradually getting better and now it really only hurts when I sneeze.  But I still have to consciously stand up straight against the pulled muscle so I am not leaning left.

In Amos 7:8, God tells the prophet Amos that he is setting a plumb line for the Israelites.  “Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.”  A plumb line is a string with a weight at the bottom.  It is a simple tool, but it will tell you whether a wall or a back is straight up and down.  No matter how much you lean left or lean right, you can’t make that plumb line anything but straight up and down.

I think Jesus is our plumb line and there are plenty of times when I find myself leaning away from his straight way.  This is one of the reasons I read the Bible every day.  Reading God’s word helps keep me from leaning the wrong direction.  Instead, I stand up straight in the Lord.  Or, at least, I know the way I am supposed to stand.  Doing it is a different matter.

In this fraught political climate, I have seen people who claim that you can’t be a real Christian if you vote Democrat.  I know plenty of Democrats who feel you can’t be a real Christian if you vote for Trump.  Instead of measuring ourselves as Republican or Democrat, maybe we should be measuring ourselves against the plumb line of Jesus.  Reading his words, I am always convicted of the many ways I fail to stand up straight.  My goal is to keep my judgement of others to a minimum and only measure myself against God’s plumb line.

Dear Jesus, set my feet on your straight way.  In comparisons with other people, I always come out looking good.  Keep my eyes focused on you so that you, and you only, are my measure.  Help me when I am leaning right or leaning left to straighten up according to your word and your plan.  Thank you that I can rely on your grace instead of my inadequacies.  Lead me so that I remain upright in the world.  Amen.