During a a recent conversation a friend and I were having he made a comment about one of the political figures that had been very aggressively pushing for the investigation of the Supreme Court Nominee and how that person and people closely affiliated with that individual had been proven to have done far worse than the nominated Justice was accused of doing. I made a statement that it was interesting to me that these individuals attacking the nominee had variable ethics demanding essentially puritan behavior by one person while they were doing or had done far worse. How they expect others to behave one way, while engaging in activities they criticize and how I didn’t understand how they had one set of standards for themselves, but another set of standards for everyone else.
I suppose, using the expression variable ethics is another way of saying double standards or being double minded. That concept has always been confusing to me, at least the way most people are where they are willing to excuse their own behavior while being intolerant of similar behavior in others.
A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways. James 1:8
I will admit that I have been that way at times. I would be stunned if anyone has not been guilty of that but the majority of the time when I have been guilty its because of the way I was raise, which was to be more critical of myself than others, accepting their faults and expecting better behavior of myself. I have always been far more critical of myself than of others; when I have a project and finish it I often see the things I could have done better. I intentionally look for flaws and imperfections in what I did so that when I do similar projects in the future I do it better. Case in point: we had a house built but did not have them finish the basement, partly due to cost, partly because I wanted to do it myself. I planned the layout, framed walls, hung and taped the sheet rock and did the rest of the finish work. After it was all done my neighbor and his wife had stopped by to borrow some supplies for reloading ammunition for hunting. I took him to the room I use for that so he could get the kind of powder he needed. As we did so he commented that the basement looked good and asked who I used to do the sheet rock work. I told him I had done it and he was surprised and told me that it was better than what had been done by the professional contractor he hired when he built his house. I pointed out some areas where I had seen fault and he said that I was being too harsh with my work and that the things I pointed out weren’t noticeable until I pointed them out and I should look at his house because the work done there, while better than he had seen a lot of places was still no where near as good as what I had done. I was flattered and thanked him for the kind words. We do need to be self critical, for only through such actions do we improve.
BUT, we also need to be forgiving of others, accepting their imperfections but if those imperfections impact their Christian walk, we should try to help them. Always with the love of Christ and not for other reasons.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galations 6:1
It is easy to see the faults in others, to judge them and for humans it is also easy to not see our own faults. I try not to do that, at times I have failed, but I always try to see my own weaknesses, imperfections and faults while either accepting those of others or if trying to help them, do so gently. I have failed in that at times as well but God is working with me on those issues. He is working with me on a lot of issues.
So, even though being double minded is not a good thing at the same time it is good to be that way. BUT, only if we use the higher standards for ourselves and do not expect better of others than we expect of ourselves, if we do not criticize or judge others as we all have faults for which we can be criticized. We as Christians cannot be examples of Christ if we do not try to improve ourselves. Be harsh and judgmental but only ourselves. Don’t be the unstable person that holds others to higher standards than those to which we hold ourselves. We can’t demand excellence from others and accept mediocrity in our own walk.
Lord, I thank You for helping me see places in my life that need improvement. I do try to see the good in others and find the bad in myself that I need to improve but I don’t always succeed. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to show me what I need to remember, to not be harsh, critical and judgmental in regards to others. That if they need help seeing things I do so gently and with love and kindness. Help me improve myself and my Christian walk so I can be a better vessel in Your service. I ask that You draw me nearer to You and that You draw my loved ones nearer that we all may be the people You want us to be and that we walk the path that You have set before us and not part from the true path. That we all learn to be kinder towards one another and treat each other as we should. Help me be an example of Christ’s work in a person and use me to help bring others to You.
Well, it is a cold morning here today and I suppose I need to make sure that I bundle up before heading to work. I hope all have a blessed day, that if you are not physically warm that you are warmed spiritually and have the chance to share that warmth, that blessing with someone else.