Proverbs 20b

The Danger of Duplicity.

“False weights and unequal measures – the Lord detests double standards of every kind.” – Proverbs 20:10 NLT

God hates hypocrisy, and so should we. Yet the double standard is not only tolerated in our society, it is admired in some cases. It has become an art form. Living the lie and masquerading as something other than what we truly are has become common place – even among Christians. And while we may fool others by our pretense and pretending, we never fool God. He sees all and He knows all. He is not impressed by our outward displays of righteousness or our Oscar-worthy performances that impress the crowds around us. He can spot duplicity and deceit of all kinds – even when we are trying to deceive others that we are truly good. God desires honesty and integrity among His people. He wants us to say what we mean and mean what we say. He wants us to keep our word and to live in such a way that our behavior is a true indication of our hearts. Dishonesty has no place in the life of a follower of Christ. Instead, “the godly walk with integrity” (Proverbs 207 NLT). The Hebrew word for integrity is tom, and it means wholeness or completeness. It can convey the idea of simplicity of mind. It is a mind with no deceit, a mind opposed to mischief and misrepresentation. A life of integrity is a life of wholeness, health and soundness. To live with integrity as a believer is to live your WHOLE life in a holy manner. It is to give God complete control over every area of your life – not just the convenient ones.

When the Proverbs talk about false weights and unequal measures, it is describing a form of double standard that is aimed at others. It is designed to take unfair advantage of another person by deceiving them. It pictures someone selling something to another person, but doing so by use of inaccurate weights and measures that makes the buyer think he is getting more than he is really paying for. It is using deception to gain an advantage. And while you may fool the other person and benefit from your actions, God is watching and He is totally opposed to such actions – especially among His people. And in time, a life of duplicity will be found out. “Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right” (Proverbs 20:11 NLT). As believers we are to have one standard, not two. We are to live according to God’s standard. There is no place for a double-standard in our lives. Yet for many of us, duplicity is a daily companion. We have learned to live the lie, not intending to hurt those around us, but deceiving them all the same. When we act as if all is well and our lives are care-free, yet we are struggling with doubts and troubles of all kinds, we are being duplicitous. We are being dishonest. When we try to impress others with outward displays of spirituality, when on the inside we are wrestling with our beliefs, we are being duplicitous. When we preach to our kids about the importance of God and His Word, but we rarely spend time in it ourselves, we are being hypocrites. And our children are fine-tuned to spot it in our lives. God calls us to be honest, transparent, open and above board in our relationships with one another. No lying, no deceit, no duplicity, no double standards. We are to be a people of integrity. Not faking it for the sake of those around us, but honestly and openly living our lives knowing that “the Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive” (Proverbs 20:27 NLT).

Father, help me live honestly and openly before You and others. Shine Your light into my life and expose the duplicity and any double-standards that may exist. Help me to live a life of integrity, wholeness and soundness before You and others. Amen.

Ken Miller

Grow Pastor & Minister to Men