For us or Against Us?

“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries” (Joshua 5:13)?

The concept of neutrality relates to being impartial and choosing not to take sides during a conflict. This position is appropriate for circumstances such as the beginning of a trial. A judge or a team of jurors need to be seen as impartial in order to judge a case fairly. It is at the end of the trial when the judge and jurors need to make a judgement. At this time they need to make a decision for or against either side and determine which side was wrong.

Oftentimes people suffer from people pleasing habits which makes them want to be liked by everyone. The problem with this trait is that you run the risk of sitting on the fence. As it relates to matters of injustice and inequality, we do not get the benefit of remaining neutral. Being silent or non committal when wrongs are being committed makes us culpable. “There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

There are situations when we do not have the benefit of neutrality. Isaiah said, “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause” (Isaiah 1:17). God is not a neutral God and Jesus did not take the ‘path of least resistance.’ Jesus would very often ‘call a spade a spade’ and his forthrightness put him in direct conflict with the religious leaders.

There is nothing easy about Christianity. It is a misconception to think that God wants us to walk around pretending to be perfect little Christians who do not see colour or do not see evil. We look for the good in others but there are times when we have to acknowledge evil and injustice. When we see injustice, we have to do what Isaiah said; seek justice and correct oppression.

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).


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