He must increase, but I must decrease.
In English, "scale" has many meanings. But in architecture or design, scale is "a proportion between two sets of dimensions (as between those of a drawing and its original)" or "a distinctive relative size, extent, or degree" according to Merriam-Webster. Basically, we can understand how big or small something is by comparing it to something else that is bigger or smaller. The video above illustrates scale by comparing the height of a man with the tallest statues (idols) of the world. With birthday number ## around the corner on December 17, the LORD has been teaching my family and I more about the absolute importance of balance in life. But I am also realizing that we can't experience balance without perspective. And perspective can be seen with the help of scale.
As Christians, we are told to not compare ourselves to others. This is good advice because this comparing is often the fast track to coveting or wanting what another has or is. But we are never told to not compare ourselves to Christ. In fact, the Bible says quite the opposite...
[ROMANS 6:4 KJV] 4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
[EPHESIANS 5:2 KJV] 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
[COLOSSIANS 3:13 KJV] 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.
John the Baptizer, son of old Zacharias and Elizabeth and the greatest preacher of all time, did not live a conventional life as he did not possess a conventional call. But could His short but balanced life, be the result of a perspective that he was able to experience by the grace of God and understanding scale? He said,"[Jesus] must increase, but [John the Baptist] must decrease." JOHN 3:30.
John didn't get this balance through proximity. In other words, he didn't have a leg up on us because he was Jesus' cousin (since Elizabeth and Jesus' mother Mary were cousins). We only see them having a handful of conversations and John was martyred by King Herod not long after Jesus was baptized. It was through perspective and a clarity through scale that John was able to distill complex mathematics into a simple equation. From what He learned about Jesus just like we learn about Jesus, he figured that in order for Jesus to be big in His life, he had to be small in his life. John's surrender allowed Jesus' salvation. John's humility paved the way for Jesus' honor. John knew as the forerunner to the Son of God, Jesus had to be pushed up; but those mechanics required that he be pushed down. For example, if we want to make a desk lamp stand higher, we have to put a desk beneath it that is lower. Even if we want to make a desk lamp shine brighter, we have to ditch the bulb that shines darker. The desk top can't be the same height as the lamp top! The old lamp can't be in the same socket as the new bulb!
Scale allows us to not just right-size God, but perspective through scale keeps us in our place. His generosity exposes our greed. His greatness exposes our weakness. His love exposes our lack. 1 JOHN 4:8a says,"He that loveth not knoweth not God...." Not loving (whether not loving God or not loving others) simply reveals that we don't know God. Because if we knew God and knew Him according to scale, we would know love because "God is love." (1 JOHN 4:8b) We would know His love is too deep to get under! We would know His love is to wide to get around! We would know His love is too strong to break! While the Bible clearly teaches that we can break one or all of God's law, find one that says we can break His love? Can't find it because God never said it. And He never said it because it's not possible. God would stop being God before He stopped being Love and stopped loving you!
John the Baptizer got this and we can too! Balance begins with perspective, and perspective can be achieved by simply using scale. If we, like John, look in faith to the Redeemer, we will rise in heights of humility and holiness!
God has something to say to us (more than we want to hear it)! That's why there is always a WORD!