Taking a stand is a tough, but a very important thing. Learning not to die on unimportant hills is a part of the strategic decision. Sometimes we deploy our forces and energies over such a wide territory that we have no strength left to go deep when we need to do so.
An elderly lady stood on her front porch outside her palatial, southern home during Sherman’s siege of Atlanta during the Civil War. Defiantly, she stood through sporadic gun and cannon fire, caring for her family home. And then, when the troops came to take her home as headquarters, she still stood on the porch, defiant to the invaders on her property, hand on her hips and an inverted broom in her hand. The ranking officer came to her and said, “Ma’am, we are coming to take your home in the name of the Union army. You surely don’t mean to hold off the whole army with a broom, do you?” And she looked at the young man and said, “No son, I don’t. But I just wanted everybody to know which side I was on.”
Sometimes, we must take sides. There are multiple issues confronting our culture today that must be addressed with courage and civility, yet with firmness. We have, as the people of God, sat far too long on the fence on important issues that now disrupt and even threatened to tear down the fabric of our culture. We have feared letting the world and the culture know “which side we’re on.”
What do you stand for that, while you may never see a clear victory won, you still are willing to take a stand? What issues burden you? Confront you? And as yet, you have done nothing to change them? Which side are you standing on?
During World War II, the pastors of German churches were brought in for meetings with the newly elected leader, a man named Adolf Hitler. With a combination of charm and demonic mania, Hitler addressed the pastors in the room and finished with this: “You handle the church. I will handle the state. We will get along fine. I am your Fuhrer.”
One pastor in the room, a man named Martin Niemöller, was said to have quietly spoken into the silence of the room when Hitler had finished. He said, “Herr Hitler, you are not my fuhrer. (leader) God is my Fuhrer.”
Every man in the room physically moved away from Niemöller at that moment. He stood alone. And he continued to stand alone, even when Hitler’s SS troops dragged him away to prison. Every man in the room in that moment, and eventually every Christian in Germany, knew where this pastor stood.
It’s time we find our ground and having done all else, take our stand as the winds of the world blow against us. God honors that stand.
And He’ll know which side you’re on.
For Meditation: And having done all… stand. Ephesians 6:13
For Reflection: What we refuse to stand against, we will fall for… every time.