Black, White and Gray

Life would be so much easier if everything was black and white. Instead, it’s filled with a lot of grays.

Sure, there are many things that the Bible is clear about. Murder: wrong. Forgiveness: right. Cheating and stealing: wrong. Respecting those in authority over you: right.

But there are some issues that we face in life that are not directly addressed in the Bible (and I’m not talking about instrumental worship or whether it’s “okay” for Christians to have a glass of wine with dinner). There are times when we come to a crossroads in our lives, and there’s not a definitive sense of which way we should go. In those times, every option seems like it could be right, but there’s no way to know for sure without choosing one.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew without a doubt that the decisions we made were 100% on the money every time? How reassuring it would be to be able to see giant arrows reading “Marry this person” or “Accept this job offer” or “Move to this city” or “Commit to this ministry”. Think of all the time and energy we’d save by not agonizing over our decisions.

Of course, I suppose having a black and white world would pretty much negate the need for faith, wouldn’t it? Living in a world without grays might eliminate a lot of drama. But it would also eliminate a lot of our need to depend on God.

Much as we may hate it, the reality is that many of the big decisions we make in life are not going to be black and white, and we just aren’t going to know if we made the “right” decision until after we’ve made a decision. I’ve known people who have married someone who might not have been the best match for them, or who have accepted jobs that turned out to be nightmares. Even in cases like that, God can work things out. I believe that He can redeem ANY situation, and even when we make poor decisions, He can turn our lives around when we repent and come to Him humbly.

Making a “wrong” decision isn’t the end of God’s plans for us. He has the power and will to turn things around and bring us to the place where He wants us. It’s when we refuse to make any decision out of fear of making the wrong one that God’s plans for us often get put on pause. I think that He can do much more with someone who is willing to take a chance and make a decision, even if it’s not the best one, than with someone who refuses to act without a clear-cut sign.

We usually want to see the big picture before making a decision, whereas God often only wants to reveal a tiny portion of it. He’s waiting for us to step out in faith, and He’ll continue to reveal His plans along the way, a little at a time. That can be frustrating for those of us who like to see what’s around the bend in advance…but it IS faith building!


4 thoughts on “Black, White and Gray

  1. I think that all too often we wait for a big sign from God before we make a decision. How soon we forget that God created us free to make our own decisions and what we think are sings are just coincidences that happen. Truly God is all powerful and all things do work for good for them who serve Him. And He does have a plan for us. That means that even if your decision appears wrong, something good can come from that. We need to spend our time making what looks like a wrong decision into a right one. With God’s help that is possible.We also must remember that Satan can masquarade as the creator of light. He can make good things seem like the right choice when in reality it’s not. It’s hard to know what is right or wrong in each situation, but with prayer and God’s help all choices can work out in His time. Even if it’s contrary to God’s Word, He can forgive and bring good from it. Wow, what a wonderful God we serve!


  2. Good point. I have always had little understanding of people who saw everything as black and white. I can see both sides of most anything. The beauty of God is that black becomes white when he turns our wrong decisions into a good thing for him. We just have to be willing to trust and obey.


  3. Peter walked on water AND went swimming. Even in his failure he got to have direct contact with Jesus. On the other hand 11 guys sat there in amazement as they watched. Jesus acknowledged Peter’s “little faith,” but didn’t even acknowledge the other guys…at all. I would much rather follow the way of Peter.Many times in trying so desperately to discover God’s will and what he wants us to do in, we make an idol of the quest, rather than trusting in God alone.


  4. Good point, Jon. I think many people would choose to stay dry and safe in the boat and miss out on a great adventure, risky as it may be. I think I’m getting better at taking more risks and getting out of the boat more often.Welcome back to Montgomery, by the way! 🙂


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