“God is on my side” I heard someone say the other day as they shared about a dispute they were having with someone else.
As I sat there listening to this person give me all the details about why they thought God was on their side and not on the other party’s side I began to wonder.
So many of us are so quick to say that God must be on our side because of what we have read and others have told us. Clearly when it comes to the way he feels towards us as our father this is indisputable – He always has and always will be on our side. However, can this be also said when we fight and argue with each other about what after all often only amounts to egotistical pettiness?
Today where I am in my journey I sincerely no longer believe that God takes sides. Instead, I believe that God has a position that he chooses to stand on. We are the ones that like to take sides often choosing the one that is most convenient to us or aligns itself best with what we believe is the truth. Naturally, from there we expect God to join us yet as Jesus showed us this is not really the case.
In the Gospels when an adulterous woman was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees, who clearly believed that they were representing the side that God stood in, Jesus drew a line on the ground. He followed this with a great question which not only communicated to all of them where God stood in the matter, but most importantly helped them to see that the reason he had drawn a line on the ground was to show every one of us that in the Kingdom of Heaven, there are no lines – just space for all of us.
Lines separate and isolate and eventually their presence leads us to cross other lines we never thought we would. In this case, where punishing someone for not being able to do what was right was more important than showing grace. We need to consider that wanting to take sides only works when we are looking for a result instead of the redemptive end we all need. Furthermore, it shows that like the Pharisees we are blind and unable to see that when we stone others, in the name of upholding our side, we are actually stoning God’s creation in the process.
The reality is that God’s position is and has always been within the space of truth where love, peace, grace, forgiveness, mercy, justice, and unity to name a few thrive. These wonderful premises He stands for and sustains are capable if we are willing to give them a chance, of bringing down every argument and judgment that is often responsible for forcing us to the place where we need to take sides with each other.
Today remember – when God seems to be on our side all that has happened is that we have chosen to join Him where he stands and not the other way around.
How about we choose to encourage everyone else to join us there?
Cartoon by Naked Pastor.