The Greys Matter…

Black or white…  Right or wrong…  Heaven or Hell…  Sinner or Saint…

It seems that all too often today those seem to be the only choices.  You are either on the “winning” team or you are a “loser.”  For or against…  Friend or enemy… and I don’t like it.  Not one bit.

Too many people walk around with this “my way or the highway” attitude that basically tells others that “if you don’t agree with me you are wrong, stupid, evil, unlovable, enemy, or going to hell,” and that attitude enrages me.  There is an awful lot of black and white in this world, that I completely acknowledge, but the vast majority of the “real life” situations exist in the “grey” in between, and far too many people refuse to budge from their black or white to recognize the reality of the grey.

I don’t have a problem with wrong or right, black or white, Republican or Democrat, Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, I have a problem with people refuse to recognize that there may indeed be more than one truth in this world.  (Little “t”)

Story time:  A young man is raised in a Christian household his entire juvenile life.  He is loved, protected, educated in all things Christian.  He graduates his Christian high school and leaves home to attend a public university.  He takes with him all of the truths he has learned and a Christian young man, but within the first semester of his college career, he is exposed to so many new, radical, different experiences that he begins to find his “old” truths in conflict with what he can only call “new” and different truths.  He is torn…does he cling desperately to his established truths…does he radically adopt all these new truths he is experiencing…does he struggle to amalgamate the two sets of truths to form his own set of personal truths based on the loving Christian upbringing and the ravishingly revolutionary world he is growing into?

Every human being goes through this time of self-discovery that eventually results in a fully formed adult emerging from a sort of chrysalis of young adulthood.  In all reality, people will often experience changes in thought, theology, and belief along their journey, but those prior experiences and beliefs will always remain a part of them, shaping and impacting the person they are continually becoming.  It is essential that we continue to draw from our past to help make decisions about our future and how we treat people, and that is where the grey comes in.  I am not to reveal any political leanings or hot-button biases here, but I am going to acknowledge that on each side of some of the most dominant issues in today’s society are truths…hard and fast truths.  And who am I to tell someone their truth is wrong?

At the core of this blog/rant is the lack of grace we show people we disagree with…how we unabashedly judge them based on OUR biases and turn around and cry foul when someone does it to us.  I am moved to anger when I see a person dismiss someone else entirely based on a judgment of a single belief, ideal, or way of life.  In the last couple of years, I have begun working on my “why” questioning, because how can I pass judgement on a person’s beliefs if I don’t know “why?”  And the cool trick is that when we start learning the “why” we start seeing an awful lot of grey in what we thought was the opposite to our “black.”

In the NIV translation of the Bible there are 124 references to “Grace,” and more than 90% of them appear in the New Testament.  You know what that tells me?  It tells me that the “God of the Old Testament” was a “Black and White” God, and that is shown in countless examples of prophets warning people of impending punishment and doom.  Of the 124 references to “Grace” in the NIV, 114 of them appear in the New Testament.  That tells me that something changed.  Something happened to change our relationship with God from one of “Black and White” to one of Grays (Grace).  John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Dispite the amazingness of Christ’s Grace upon us, we still find it so difficult to extend that Grace unto others.  We judge them when we shouldn’t.  Matthew 7:1-3 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”  We fail to take the time to ask “why” and truly listen.  I think we are afraid that if we do, we might find that those we may disagree with are not so different from ourselves.  Because if we truly look in the looking glass of our lives, we will see that there was an abundance of Grace afforded us when we too lived in the Grays for there is not denying that the events of our lives shape who we are today, no matter how long ago they happened.  And, praise God, His Grace is everlasting.

So I pray for the wisdom to see the Grays in the Blacks and the Whites.  I pray for the patience to ask “why.”  I pray that I NEVER forget what has happened to make me who I am and how that affects me today.  And I pray that the Grace of Jesus continues to descend upon us, and that we get better at sharing that Grace with those who live in the Greys with us.

  2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

One Love
One God
One Way

Jason

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~ by archangel66 on February 12, 2012.

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