Double Standards

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

After he and his brothers sold Joseph into slavery, Judah went off on his own. He married and had three sons. One son, Er, married a woman named Tamar but died as a result of his wickedness. Another son, Onan, had a similar fate. Following the practice of the time, the third son, Shelah, was expected to marry Tamar. But Judah told her to live as a widow until Shelah had grown up.

After Judah’s wife died, he went on a journey, trying to recover from his grief. When Tamar heard about Judah’s plans, she disguised herself as a prostitute and lured Judah into an intimate relationship. As a pledge of his payment, he gave her his seal, cord, and staff.

Later, it became evident that Tamar was pregnant. Outraged, Judah ordered that she be “burned to death!” But Tamar produced the evidence that Judah had given her for her act of prostitution. Immediately, Judah recognized these items, and realized what he had done.

This story reveals that Judah had double standards. He had no problem justifying his own actions, but would not tolerate what his daughter-in-law had done.

This kind of double standard was common then, as it is now. The Bible makes clear that there is only one standard, and it applies to everyone, men and women. But, as Jesus taught, it is easier to recognize mistakes made by others than to recognize sins in our own lives. We need to practice humility, and not be hypocrites. We need to get right with God before criticizing others, and “take the log out of our own eyes first” (Matthew 7:1-5).

Today, be on guard against double standards in your life.