Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

We may not like it, but we’re surrounded by double standards. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with them. We don’t like it when someone else espouses a double standard, but if it’s our idea….

  • Children shouldn’t curse. Adults do it all the time.
  • People must follow the law. Politicians exempt themselves from the laws they pass.
  • If you arrive a half hour late for a doctor’s appointment, they can charge you for a no-show. But how many times have patients sat in waiting rooms for hours, waiting for their long-overdue appointment?

Then there’s our recreation. Books and movies portray violence and illicit relationships, which we excuse in the name of entertainment. It’s fiction, so that makes it okay. Watching violent movies doesn’t encourage violence in children, or so they say. But if what we watch does not influence our behavior, why are some companies willing to spend eight million dollars for a 60-second Superbowl ad?

Another prime example is the novel, You Deserve Nothing, by Alexander Maksik. It’s a story about an American teacher at an international school in Paris who has an affair with one of his students. One reviewer, Brian Hurley, wrote that it was a “racy, convention-defying romance.” Then he learned the story was based on real life and said he felt his stomach twist. The reviewer experienced a sudden change in opinion, calling the book a “craven, embarrassing scandal.”

Hmmm…when it’s fiction, it’s “romance.” When it’s fact, it’s stomach-twisting and “craven.”

Pointed fingerBut before I point a finger at politicians, doctors, or book reviews, I need to look at myself. Because I’m the biggest proponent of double standards, especially related to God.

I want Him to judge evil-doers with finality.
I want Him to vindicate me against my enemies.
I want Him to withhold mercy…unless, of course, it applies to me.

Enter my double standard. When I sin, I want pardon.
When I offend someone else, I want forgiveness.
When I mess up, I want a second chance…and third, and fourth, and….well, you get the idea.

But God has one standard of holiness and He impartially applies it to all of us. Since we will never meet His standard on our own merit, He provided the solution. Jesus’ sacrifice applies to all who receive it for themselves.

No exceptions. No double standards.

Aren’t you glad?

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1 Comment

  1. Bethany

    In our day of mercurial morality, God’s unwavering character is an anchor we can hold onto. Thanks for sharing this much needed insight.

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