Ever since I was young, I’ve been taught that there are two sides: right and wrong, good and evil.
I saw it in fairy tales with villains and heroes.
I saw it in my church where there was biblical and heretical.
I saw it in politics where there was republican and democrat.
And I stuck to that dichotomy. I loved it. If there’s a clear cut right and a wrong, I don’t have to think or analyze. And if I’m on the “right” side, I don’t have to humbly deal with my sin and shortcomings. It’s easy and comfortable being on the right or winning team.
When I was in high school I distinctly remember a conversation with my mom. We were sitting at Tower Pizza and I was confidently talking about something that was “morally” right. My mom said to me, “Lindsay, as you get older you’ll realize things aren’t always black and white.” I remember being so disappointed in her. Thinking that she had given into the world and was not holding tight to the Bible’s absolute truths. I remember thinking and verbalizing to her that I will never let go of this truth and “true way” of living like she has.
She just smiled and took another bite of her pizza.
As usual, she was right. I still believe God’s Word is infallible, but I’ve started to discover that our interpretations of it are not always so. And the reason I think this is a Holy Spirit-led discovery is that instead of resulting in heresy, it has led to humility.
I realized that God isn’t republican (or democrat either). I realized not all Muslims are terrorists and not all racists are in the KKK.
I realized that dichotomies often bring more harm than good and the more people you meet, the harder it is to discover what side they are on and which side is “right”. Dichotomies in morality often lead to pride more than holiness, and I can think of few things that anger and distance us from God more than pride.
There is a right and wrong side of things. We just mistakenly believe humans can be on both sides. God is the only one on the right side. We are the villains. Not just republicans, terrorists or racists. All of us.
But God had compassion on us and saved us- bringing us to the right side. We did not earn this and have no reason for pride.
Instead, let’s see each other as allies and equals. Equal in our sin and need of saving. Equal in our mistakes and worth.