“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Matthew 12:30
The “neutral ground” is a strip of land running through the middle of a two-way street, most commonly known to other American cities as a median. During the early 1800s, neutral grounds were canals used for transporting goods throughout the city; others were used for rail and streetcar lines. Although the city of New Orleans has incorporated the use of neutral ground in its development, neutral ground in the 21st century, for the most part, constitutes an area that is of little use or purpose.
Many individuals have taken the position of neutrality: “I don’t get involved in that.” Throughout their lives, they take the stance of doing nothing by never actively participating for or against any problems facing humanity. Yes, they will readily engage in conversations regarding the pandemic, family issues, social injustices, poverty, political dissent, and civil unrest. But the bottom line is they have created a purpose for neutral ground, it is their comfort zone, and they do not intend to budge from that location.
The problem with living on neutral ground is that they “see and don’t see.” The focus of their lives is inward. It is a “me, myself, and I” proclamation of self-preservation. Neutrality produces inactivity. For the most part, human behavior is predictable. If a person has a selfish spirit, they can’t reach out and alleviate others’ suffering, nor is it possible for them to wholeheartedly serve God. Standing on neutral ground is a sinful character defect. It is a deal-breaker for receiving the reward of eternal life.
To substantiate these statements, we must refer to the scriptures.
- “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:36-39
- Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20
- He has told you, mortal one, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
- Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17
- Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:17
Since the pandemic, neutrality has also invaded the body of believers. There are church leaders and members who have done relatively little to reach out to other members and their community suffering from emotional and physical losses. We readily utilize our cell phones for multiple purposes, but not to call and provide spiritual encouragement. Our love for others is an indication of our love for God. To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). If you have heard that line of wisdom, you know it means we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others. https://law.utk.edu/2016/05/10/
In creating humanity, God has defined the purpose of our lives. We must look beyond ourselves with a spirit of obedience, and one of active participation. Being employed on a 40-hr per week job does not fulfill God’s divine purpose for our lives. God directs us to observe the ants who are always busy with their activities of intent and purpose.
- Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Proverbs 6:6
- There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: 25 Ants—they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer. Proverbs 30:24-25
Even so, animals do not have free will. They instinctively act from the innate nature that God created them with. On the other hand, God has provided us with guidance and His expectations through the Bible, His Holy Word. We have the option not to follow God’s commandments and instructions; however, there is a high price to pay for the disobedience of doing nothing and standing on neutral ground. “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” Revelation 22:12. Still, we can easily remove ourselves from the lose-lose situation of neutrality by loving and obeying God, and meeting the needs of others. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 3:17
Love (and Obey) God, Love Others, and Love Yourself!
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.