The Birth of a Double Standard

“Haman went out joyful and glad of heart. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath. Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home, and… brought his friends and his wife Zeresh [and] recounted to them the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and the servants… Then Haman said, ‘Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the feast she prepared. And tomorrow also I am invited by her together with the king. Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.’ Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, ‘Let a gallows be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it…’ This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.

“So Haman came in, and the king said, ‘What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?’ And Haman said to himself, ‘Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?’ Haman said to the king, ‘For the man whom the king delights to honor, let royal robes be brought,.. and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set... Let [the king’s most noble officials] dress the man, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming:.. “The man whom the king delights to honor.”‘ Then the king said to Haman, ‘Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned…’ Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.” Esther 5:9-14; 6:6-10,12

Puffed in importance, Haman not only relished his high life as top official of King Ahasuerus, but his plan to take down the ‘low life’ Mordecai and all the Jewish people. After all, anyone who refused to pay him the homage he deserved himself deserved punishment. Cocky and confident, he managed his world from the throne of self, unaware of the trap that lurked. He had not only misjudged Mordecai as an individual, but the deadly consequences of his nefarious plot.

We step on dangerous ground the moment we entertain superiority. At the instant I’m better, more important, more deserving, I’ve entered a pool of deception that will swirl and choke and drown me in disillusionment while I attempt to submerge others. What is good for me is too good, or must never be allowed, for anyone else is a destructive mindset to all involved.

Where has a sense of entitlement distorted our view of reality and polluted our opinions with prejudice? Are there areas we expect more, or less, from some than we do from ourselves or our loved ones? When and how are we investing in those different from us, to get to know them and understand their circumstances, their motivations? Where are we guilty of a double standard that falls far short of God’s for us all? We will be exposed and bear the consequences. (Luke 12:2)

Lord, please guard my heart by, and compel my actions toward, Your sole standard of holiness. (1 Peter 1:16)

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