This morning I read this:
“Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights?”Micah 6:11, ESV
What is significant in reading this is that my mind moved beyond the most obvious application that it is wrong to cheat in business.
The broader issue is that God hates double standards. When we hold someone else to a higher standard than we are willing to obey, then we are violating this principle. This is what Jesus was talking about in the opening verses of Matthew chapter 7.
In that chapter, Jesus uses the visual picture of the man with a log in his eye criticizing the man with the speck. This is a humorous, but effective picture.
The point is that at one time or another, we are all (except Jesus) the ones with the log in our eye. We all, at one time or another, break out the wicked scales to try to make ourselves look better than we really are. We all, at one time or another, break out the wicked scales to use someone else’s behavior as an excuse for our own sin.
The antidote to this is to be open and honest about our weaknesses. The gospel, when applied properly, frees us to do this. We don’t have to jockey for position when we all are on the same level, in utter dependence upon God.
The problem is that we have a tendency to blame others for our bad behavior as seen in Genesis 3 when Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed Eve (and indirectly God) for their failure to obey. It’s in our DNA to play this blame game.
We excuse our own sin because of the sin of another. But Jesus points out that before God, this excuse will be stripped away.
My bad behavior is no-one else’s fault. Period.
When we stop making excuses for our sin, then we are beginning to pursue true repentance.