We live in a world where choosing a side is not only expected, but it is a prerequisite for acceptance. Are you Democrat or Republican, a liberal or conservative, a capitalist or a socialist? No matter where you turn, there is a call to join a group in opposition to another group. What is never revealed to anyone is how much hurt is involved, not until it’s too late. Choosing sides invites pain and distrust but inviting opposing sides to talk in grace and honesty invites healing and creates a future.
In Joshua 5:13-14, Joshua meets with God but doesn’t quite realize who he is. He asks the question “Whose side are you on?” The answer given is surprising. “Neither.” This about where Joshua is in life. He is leading a people who were in the midst of fighting for survival. If there is any moment when anyone would have plenty of reason to be on a side, this was it. Also, don’t forget that God was the one who called them out to begin with. However, He is the one who is not choosing sides.
If you take this passage and much of what is recorded of Jesus in the New Testament, It becomes apparent that God is not interested in what tribal divisions we have placed on our lives. He has a much bigger plan to save humanity and His creation. Much of the problems throughout human history can be connected to people drawing lines based on disagreements and telling the other side that at best they can’t be seen around them or at worst, they hate them.
But God never does that.
No matter our place in life, God always says, “I’ll always be in your corner and no matter what sides anyone is on, that will never change.” The question is, if this is God’s mission, what is our mission? What are we doing to bring hope for all? Are we joining sides and adding to the pain this world has to offer?
Or are we saying to those we meet, “I’ll always be in your corner and not matter what, that will never change.”