By: German Wright

When my son, Caleb, was learning to drive, he made this observation: “Dad, the speed limit is 55 and you are going 65.  But, when I drive on this road, you make me go 55.   That doesn’t seem right.”

Wow.  Busted.  I clearly think that I am superior and I do not need to abide by the standard that I expect of my son!

 This simple example applies to the often heated conversation on racial justice.   I was recently asked to participate on a “Racial Equity” panel for a statewide association for the education of children.  The way I prepared was to meditate on Matthew 7.  

“Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. 2For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? …5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye! …12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you…” Matt 7:1-3,5,12

Just as my son observed my speed limit double standard, I sometimes observe the double standard in panels like this.  Group A demands from Group B a standard that the members of Group A do not want to personally apply to themselves.    The sinful nature in each one of us loves to judge others and then say, ‘but please don’t judge me.’

In Matthew 7 we see that we are to apply the standard to ourselves before we have any right to apply it to others.  If we are not willing to do this, then it is no longer equity, equality, or justice that we are really seeking.  

 Jesus could not have been clearer.  “Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.”  

I want to be given the benefit of the doubt…so I give the benefit of the doubt. 

I don’t want others to jump to conclusions about me…so I purpose to not jump to conclusions about others.  Instead, I put my energies into listening and finding out the facts and getting to know a person’s heart.  

Let’s purpose to live out Matt 7 in our own circle of relationships.  Let’s not judge others with a standard by which we are not willing to abide.  One of my circles is the staff of Focused Living.  We have generational, racial, personality, family of origin, and denominational differences.  We naturally have different perspectives on a variety of subjects, but we give each other the benefit of the doubt because we have come to know each other’s heart.