Whose Side are you on?
People love to take sides. Whether it is a sports team, politician, or even a talent contest, we often pick a side. When taking sides we tend to think our side is the “right” side, especially when it comes to personal, spiritual, or political issues.
I have even found that I secretly pick a side when it comes to people I know. For example, I might think a certain person is extremely rude or obnoxious and I struggle with my relationship with them. As a result, I start to label. You know the label: difficult person, crude individual, negative influence. While there may be truth to some degree, people are more complex than that. I have known very obnoxious people who are also very generous. I have known very negative people who are also very caring. And the beat goes on….
As a committed Christian, I believe there is right or wrong, essentially a “side” to take. However, even with this strong conviction, I surely need to be more humble when it comes to expressing those convictions.
Often when I am sure of my convictions, I discover that God surprises me in that he shows me that some of my positions are more biases than truth. Over the years I have changed or modified my beliefs on certain issues. I do this because I try to be open to what the Lord is showing me and not be so dogmatic on every little thing.
One of my all time favorite Bible stories is found in the book of Joshua where Joshua is about to fight with his fellow Israelites to conquer the city of Jericho. He meets a man on the road to Jericho with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua asks the man if he is for the Israelites or the people of Jericho, essentially whose side are you on. The answer is startling, even jaw dropping. The man says neither. He simply comes with a message from the Lord.
Now don’t miss this. The Lord said the Israelites were his people and that he wanted them to take the Promised Land. But ultimately the Lord’s only side is His. I believe this man (angel) was reminding Joshua that God’s side is the only side.
This response should cause us to be very careful when we think we “speak” for God. We should be certain that the point of view shared is truly God’s view and that our motive is for His glory, not ours.
So the next time you’re praying about your favorite football team to win the game, ask the Lord if he really is choosing a side. You might discover that God’s team is one that has a cross on the jersey.