Recently I have felt caught in the middle. There are too many hard lines that have created sides.
Mask or no mask.
Vaccine or no vaccine.
Inside or outside.
Is the government taking over or are they not.
Are my rights being taken away or are they not.
Submit or stand.
Truth or false.
Safe or unsafe.
Right or wrong.
This side or that side.
Us or them.
All of these sides mentioned above certainly have left me asking myself how I feel about each one. If I wear a mask, does that mean I am surrendering my rights? If I don’t wear a mask, does that mean I am standing up for my rights? If I don’t get a vaccine does that mean I don’t care about others? If I do get a vaccine does that make me kinder than those that don’t? If I choose to attend a gathering, with or without a mask on, will I be judged?
Does it have to be one way or the other?
Do I have a side?
I have been wrestling with this since the pandemic started and quite honestly, I never was planning to write anything about it, but as I asked God what He wanted me to write this week, this is what kept coming up.
Please, God, no!
I don’t have an answer, but I do believe that no one has it fully right. None of us. We can’t. We are flawed, sinful humans who continuously fall short of the glory of God.
So what if you feel like me? Caught in the middle, with voices of people you love and respect from both sides running in your mind. How do you navigate it all?
Again, I don’t really have an answer, but something that God has been pressing on my heart is the idea of wisdom. But not just wisdom in the sense that you are being smart about the decisions you make. I am talking about God-given wisdom.
What is God-given wisdom? How do we get it? What does it look like and how do we practice it?
First, let’s establish where this wisdom comes from. Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
How do we get it? James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
What does it look like? James 3:17 says, and this is the verse that I am most meditating on right now in these crazy times, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
How do we practice it? Colossians 4:5-6 says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
For me, as I navigate all of these sticky conversations and opinions, I am remembering that God is the source of wisdom, and I just need to ask Him for it. But not only ask, I also need to be ready to receive it. When we truly seek wisdom from God, He may just reveal to us that what we thought was completely right, may not be fully in line with what He says is right.
God is also reminding me that wisdom doesn’t take one side or the other, Godly wisdom takes the side of purity, peace-loving, consideration, submission, mercy, good fruit, impartiality, and sincerity.
And God is also reminding me that with every conversation I have, whether we agree or not, I have the opportunity to show them Christ, being full of grace and truth.
So if you are like me, feeling caught in the middle and exhausted from feeling the pressure to take sides, I am praying for you. Or maybe you are standing firm on one side or the other, I am praying for you. I am praying that you and I are asking for God-given wisdom and that we humbly receive it. I am praying that you and I display God-given wisdom in all of our conversations that is in line with grace and truth which embodies Christ. And I am praying that all of our decisions and actions are God honoring and reflective of Him.
God, give us your wisdom.
Caught in the middle is a very accurate sentiment. Remembering that we are all flawed reminds me that much more to see God’s wisdom, rather than lean on my own understanding, and most of all to be ready to submit to His wisdom. However, no matter where I may be or end up on these issues I am reminded of the command that Jesus gave in John 13:34-35 to love one another. By this everyone will know that we are his disciples. For brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, we should never forget that whether or not we love and show love to other members of the Body of Christ is how others will see God’s love and that we belong to him.