Choosing sides is something we do from cradle to grave. Whether it’s picking teams on a playground or deciding for whom we will vote in a Presidential election, our culture is always pushing us toward choosing sides. Choosing sides reveals something about us. On the playground, it may speak of your popularity. The side you choose in an election shows your political philosophy. As disciples of Jesus, we also choose sides.
We reject the lies of Satan and align ourselves with the truth and love of Christ. We believe Jesus is the Son of God, died on a cross, and rose to life again. His death provides the way to life for us. No matter what other sides in life we might choose, choosing Jesus is the only side that matters and is the decision that should direct the way we live each day of our lives.
When we’re children, the sides we choose often have little impact beyond the game at hand. Once it’s over, those on opposite sides are all friends again and continue to enjoy each other’s company. As we get older, choosing sides runs deeper and we find it more and more difficult to maintain close relationships with those who have chosen a side different from our own. Influential parts of America are strongly divided today racially, socially, and politically. The vitriol coming from both sides is not productive and too often has escalated into senseless violence and destruction. Instead of looking for common ground, the two sides become more and more divided. Choosing sides is no longer a game and tragically now has life and death consequences.
It is unconscionable that these divisions have worked their way into the Church. Before Jesus left the earth, He prayed for unity among His people (John 17:20-21). He did not want them to choose sides beyond choosing the side of God. That is the only side we can Biblically defend. While both sides of our culture and political battles claim moral superiority, only God is morally superior. Only the way of Jesus leads to life. Any other way leads only to death. We deceive ourselves into thinking Jesus would identify with one political party or the other. Jesus is interested in the souls of every human being, not their political affiliation. He does not stand with one party and not the other. Jesus unifies, He does not divide. Jesus chooses to do the will of His Father. Beyond that, He does not choose sides.
While we are busy choosing sides and drawing battle lines, Jesus is calling us to return to Him and continue His mission here on earth. Jesus doesn’t see people based on the pigment of their skin, does not turn away any because of their choices or activity in the past. He loves everyone unconditionally, and as His followers, we must love in the same way. The Church should not be a place of division, but unity. We are followers of Jesus first and only. Once you choose Jesus, your life of choosing sides is over. There is Jesus and there is everything else. Don’t let the devil distract you by making you think your choices about anything in this world supersede your decision to follow Christ. Choose Jesus. Follow Him. Live like Him and love like Him. That is the only side we should choose.