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We have heard of such terms as “lefty” and “southpaw” before, of course, referring to those who are lefthanded. I am familiar with all that because I am lefthanded myself. Thankfully, one of the few things I was never seriously teased about was this particular writing trait. It is a sad fact that even today, though, lefthandedness is frowned upon and even vehemently condemned by some people and groups. I knew of a girl when I was in school whom, word had it, was a natural lefty but was forced by her parents to be righthanded. Ronald Reagan, our fortieth President, went through the same thing when he was growing up, being forced to be a righty. In Islam, the left hand is known as the unclean hand because it is to be used for personal hygiene, and in some other societies such as those of India and Nepal this is done also.  It has traditionally been considered rude to eat with the left hand in such places as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, and there are various countries also even to this day where a large number of those who are naturally lefthanded are forced to switch to the right hand. Languages in various parts of the world reflect bias against lefties. For example, our English word “sinister” is derived from a Latin word originally meaning “left” but coming to mean “evil” or “unlucky.” [1] There are a number of other examples I could give, but you should get the idea by now about how lefthandedness is perceived.



Indeed, it can be a challenge as well for southpaws to learn how to use various instruments and machinery designed to be used by righties, since about 9 out of 10 people are righthanded, though I personally never found it all that hard to adapt, perhaps because I can use my right hand a lot more effectively than a lot of other lefthanders can. For one thing, I use my right hand to control the computer mouse. I can also write righthanded for short periods of time, albeit somewhat sloppily. Sometimes lefthandedness actually confers an advantage on people, as in baseball, for instance. Regardless of the advantages and disadvantages, though, all this is from the secular side of things. Do you think Christianity escaped the biased nonsense against lefties? Sadly, it has not. In fact, for a long time Christians have been quite harsh in their attitudes against them.



Various segments of the faith have, throughout time, believed all manner of bad things about lefthanded people, even going so far as to assume we are irremediably evil and automatically condemned to hell. The Bible itself uses the right side in a positive way and the left in a negative way, but this does not mean that God has a bias against lefties. After all, He created every one of us, and nowhere does the Bible say that Jesus Christ died only for righthanded sinners. Before we delve into what the Word of God has to say on this subject, consider that in the process of inspiring men to write the books of the Bible, the Holy Spirit moved them to use things from life that are easily relatable to many in order to illustrate various principles of righteousness and other elements associated with godliness, with God, and so on. One of those is right/left symbolism. As stated above, about 9 out of 10 people (~90%) are righthanded, so of course God would choose these sides (no pun intended) for illustrative purposes since these are highly relatable. Turning to the Bible, we see that although there are negative connotations given to the left hand sometimes, and positive connotations to the right, there are also positive connotations given to the left, and in some cases both sides are viewed neutrally. Here are some examples of all of these usages:



Genesis 48:8-10, 13:  Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons, and said, “Who are these?” And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me in this place.” And he said, “Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.”…And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near to him.


Judges 3:14-15a:  So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years. But when the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man.


1 Chronicles 12:1-2:  Now these were the men who came to David at Ziklag while he was still a fugitive from Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men, helpers in the war, armed with bows, using both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows with the bow. They were of the tribe of Benjamin, Saul’s brethren.


Psalm 48:10:  According to Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.


Proverbs 3:13, 16:  Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;…Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.


Ecclesiastes 10:2:  A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.


Jonah 4:11:  “And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”


Matthew 25:31-34, 41:    “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:’…Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:’…


Mark 10:35-37:  Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”


Romans 8:34:  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.


Galatians 2:9:  …and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship,…


Revelation 10:1-2:  I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,…


There are, of course, more Scriptures which address the right and the left hand and so forth, but these are a representative sampling of what the Bible has to say. It should be clear that the use of the right hand to represent such things as good and God’s favor and the use of the left hand to represent such things as evil and God’s condemnation are purely symbolic. As easy as it is to conclude this with a simple examination of the Scriptures, it is rather surprising that for so long the Church has had a lot of the same misguided ideas about lefthandedness that the secular world has. Being lefthanded has no bearing on who is evil or good any more than righthandedness does. Such people as Aristotle, Joan of Arc, Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Babe Ruth, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Mozart, Beethoven, Charlemagne, Ty Cobb, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, Michelangelo, Harry Truman, and possibly Jack the Ripper (based on forensic work on his victims), among a multitude of others, were all lefthanded, some of them good, some not good. There are famous southpaws and righties living today, such as Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Pat Robertson, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, and  Rand Paul, to name a few. [2] Again, some are good, some are not. The bottom line is, however God made us, lefthanded or righthanded, He did so as He saw fit.



We know that the brain is divided into a right and a left hemisphere, and that the side opposite the dominant hand is the dominant hemisphere. In other words, in righties the left hemisphere is dominant and in lefties, the right hemisphere. Each side has some specialized functions, such as the speech center being in the left side, for example. The brain hemispheres are a bit less specialized in lefties than in righties. There may be some minor differences in how lefthanded people perceive or think as compared to righthanders, but all in all, the brain is a remarkable creation of God whether He designed it for a righthander or a lefthander. If you are a southpaw and you have been stigmatized because of your hand preference, know and understand that God created you that way and that this stigma is manmade, gladly fueled by the kingdom of darkness at times. Along with all the world’s righthanded people, we who are lefthanded can proclaim with King David the psalmist:


Psalm 139:14: I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.



[1] Wikipedia article, “Bias against left-handed people.” Retrieved 12/19/2021.

[2]  The Guardian, article: “One hundred famous left-handed people” | UK news. Retrieved 12/19/2021.



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