Stand With not Against

Christians are notoriously great at standing against and tragically weak at standing with. Here’s a surprising “standing with” story.

Deceit:

Joshua 9 explains a peace treaty that was executed based on false information. The Jews – even though decieved – honored the agreement. In Joshua 10 the Gibeonites – dishonest treaty makers – are attacked by surrounding cities. They call to Joshua – the one they just deceived – for help.

Just deserts?

At this point in the story I’m thinking; see what happens to deceivers, you’re getting what you deserve. Liars will be friers! But Joshua marches God’s army all night long to stand with and defend deceivers. In addition, God miraculously “stands with” by joining in. He kills Gibeonite enemies by throwing giant hail stones from heaven.

With:

God and Joshua stood with “sinners.” More than that, Jesus stands with sinners. He serves them, gets uncomfortably close to them, and ultimately sacrifices His life for them. Or should I say, “For us?”

Contaminants or companions:

Legalistic Christians believe sinners are contaminants to be avoided, corrected, or improved. It’s pathetic, safe, and self-serving. Improved unbelievers end up in the same place as unimproved. It’s all about Jesus, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else. (You might need to read that last sentence again.)

They called Jesus a “friend of sinners.” It wasn’t a compliment. It was an insult from the righteous elite.

There’s a legalist in all of us. For example, when I see “friend of sinners,” I think them not me. Law prompts me to stand against, apart, and above. Grace prompts me to – serve, get close to – stand with.

Note: I’ve used the term “sinners” in this piece to create an “us/them” dynamic. It’s an artificial distinction.

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2 Comments on “Stand With not Against”

  1. Angel Ribo Says:

    Outstanding Dan. As usual. Keep up this great ministry. God bless!!!


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