Proverbs 20: Double Standards

Hypocrisy. I can’t say that I’ve never done something hypocritical, but it is something that I do my very best to stay away from. I have a special kind of dislike for hypocrisy.

Basically, hypocrisy can also mean being fake; putting on a show.

In our “Christian” world, I would say I have 2 different categories of hypocrisy.

  • Saying/preaching/teaching something that I do not live (or attempt to live)
  • Expecting someone to live or be a certain way, but I myself do not have to. In other words, a double standard.

Hypocrisy in the Webster’s Dictionary is defined as a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not: behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.

Dictionary.com defines hypocrisy as a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess; a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.

To make it very plain and simple, lastly, let’s look at how the Cambridge dictionary defines hypocrisy; pretending to be what you are not, or pretending to believe something that you do not.

S – Scripture

Mark it down: God hates it when you demonstrate double standard – one for “them” and one for “you.”

Proverbs 20:10 (TPT)

The Lord hates double standards – that’s hypocrisy at its worst!

Proverbs 10:23 (TPT)

Now let’s quickly look at those verses in NASB & NLT. Why? Because some traditionalists will throw out TPT translation, so I want to bring in some traditional translations to show that the verses have the same meaning.

First NASB:

Differing weights and differing measures, both of them are abominable to the Lord.

Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, And a false scale is not good.

Now, NLT:

False weights and unequal measures – the Lord detests double standards of every kind.

The Lord detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.

O- Observation

I think it’s pretty clear that these verses are referring to hypocrites who hold some to one standard, and another to a different standard. One of those standards may be for self, but not necessarily. Let’s use a silly example:

Joe steals money and we condemn, judge, and punish him harshly for it, but when Sally is caught stealing, we justify it and move on. Why did we have a different standard for Joe than we did for Sally. Maybe because Sally was a woman or maybe Sally was our sister. There are many possible reasons for the double standard, but none of those reasons make it right.

If I preach about living a righteous and holy life and expect others to live it, but I myself do not, I am holding everyone to a higher standard than myself.

The opposite isn’t good either. Expecting more from yourself than you do everyone else; being a perfectionist.

A- Application

There are a few things I need to constantly do to ensure I don’t fall into this trap of double standards.

  1. Continue to spend time with God, asking Holy Spirit to search my heart, and purify it.
  2. Always seek the heart of the Father – for others and myself.
  3. Be authentic and vulnerable to prevent having an appearance that isn’t real.
  4. Live a life filled with mercy and grace – for others, as well as myself.

P- Prayer

Holy Spirit, you know how I also detest hypocrisy. I can’t say I’ve never been a hypocrite, but I thank you for your forgiveness when I was. I truly desire to live an authentic, vulnerable, real, raw, and honest lifestyle where I can reflect your heart. You love everyone. May you give me the grace to live every revelation you give me. May your grace empower me to live the life that you have promised. As I teach what you have shown me and apply it to my own life, may I have a heart that doesn’t force or encourage others to live a life of appearance due to same or risk of judgement. May they feel empowered to live their real selves so that we can all grow and learn together.

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