Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
I wish that all of the situations that we faced in life were either back or white issues. I wish right was clearly right and wrong was clearly wrong. As I have grown and matured as a Christian I have learned that there are many times when things are just not clearly black or white. There are times when the situations that we are faced with… are a shade of gray.
I have been involved in some groups that attempt to make everything into a black or white issue. On the surface that sounds great, but what I have observed is that as soon as that mistake is made -legalism and religious pride begins. This mindset leaves little room for God’s grace and even less for different points of view.
I have also brushed up against other groups that would like to say there is never a clear black or white issue. Some in these groups say “there are no absolutes,” “anything goes.” All of us who believe the Bible to be the Word of God know that this group is believing a lie. Our God is a holy God and he has set boundaries for us. In addition, “the wages of sin is death.” Whether or not you recognize or respect the boundaries that God has set for our lives, there are penalties if you travel out of bounds.
So… we are left with the gray areas. While I know they do exists, I hate the gray areas. You see, sometimes “I” wish everything was either black or white. I wish I did not have to wrestle with moral decisions. I struggle when I have to set the markers for boundaries that are not clearly defined. I absolutely hate it when I am faced with an issue and I cannot pull out my Bible and turn to a verse that tells me exactly how to respond. What is the solution to the gray areas? Ha! Did you actually think I had a solution?
No magical solutions here, but I will share a bit of insight that I have gained over the past few years. I have learned to invite God into the gray areas with me. We have to live our lives. We have to go to work. We have to go to school. We have to face situations that happen within our families. And unless you live under a rock, you have to engage relationally with other people everyday. All of these activities present gray areas. When we venture into the gray areas without God, we will certainly find ourselves “out of bounds.” However I have found that when I face the gray areas and invite God’s Spirit to take the journey with me, things usually turn out okay. My success rate is not 100%, but I have found that I do much better in the gray areas with Him than without Him.
And when I find myself in the gray areas “with Him” and I still do not know what to do, I can at least lean on Psalm 131. I draw close to Him, remind myself that I do not need to understand everything, and trust Him to take me by the hand and lead me through no matter how “gray” the situation appears to be.