Learning to love ‘the grey’
No, not the bad Liam Neeson vs Wolves movie.
So while I was over in the UK the last two weeks I had a number of interesting conversations; an example of which was shown in Cameron Butryn’s blog post that I shared in my post last week (and if you haven’t read it, I really encourage you to check it out – and his newest post while you’re at it). This post is another example of one of those conversations – and one I’ve found that is an ongoing one.
I find myself becoming more and more a fan of the grey areas that God has left in Scripture. Not don’t get me wrong at all – I love that there is black-and-white in scripture. I need there to be black-and-white. It is necessary for Christians and especially people who struggle like me to have black-and-white.
However, I am really growing to love the grey areas. Now a grey area is something that I defined as something that is not a black-and-white issue. Anything that would fall under being lawful but not beneficial. Let me unpack that. There are some things that we Christians really argue about that aren’t the big deals we make them out to be.
Take drinking for example – it’s a big issue for some people. For some they are 100% against it. They think it sinful to indulge in it at all. And they can cite scripture saying “you shall not be mastered by anything” (using the same scripture linked above) – but then ignore the passages where Jesus made and drank wine, or the passages where its said a little wine is good for the soul. On the flipside though – There are people who then fly into license and then up in places that they shouldn’t be and are mastered by addictions or getting incredibly drunk – which isn’t OK.
But this is an area that people try to make black-and-white that’s not. For some a bottle of beer or glass of wine can be beneficial and have no sinful impact upon them; for others however it could send them on a path that they can’t handle. In my freedom to drink (again, not in excess) I shouldn’t condemn my brother sister for not agreeing with me or cause them to stumble. If they have an issue with alcohol I can respect them and honour them by not partaking of it while they’re around. This definitely isn’t the only example (music, style of worship, style of dress) (I’m sure you could think of a bunch yourself, and many are best kept for one on one conversations), and it’s not something I want to harp on.
I just think there’s a beauty in the grey. God gave us black-and-white and we sorely need it. But I also believe He didn’t make everything that way; that there are some areas that are black for some and white for others. I have areas that I can’t even remotely touch because it will lead me to a sinful path. But if somebody else can do that thing without it leading them to sin (and it’s not declared a sin in the word already) – who am I to tell them otherwise? Or judge them for it? Or go at them? Yes, there are things that the Word prohibits and that we can understand would be sinful – but there are a lot of things not mentioned in the Word, and I think the Lord did that purposely. I think there are some things (the ‘greys’) that we need to work and pray through to figure out if they will be beneficial for us as individuals, as married units, as families, and as the church.
I hope this post makes sense. The last thing I ever want to do is encourage someone to sin. However I do want to challenge (and be challenged) on notions that we view in black-and-white terms that aren’t. I pray God speaks to you if there is an area that you view this way (and that goes for myself as well). I pray that in someway this blog was beneficial for you.
Thanks for reading and God bless.