Summary: If white is white and black is black, what color is gray? What’s wrong with gray? It’s not white. It’s not washed with the blood.
The Trouble with Gray, in the book of Romans, 14th chapter.
First off, what color is gray? Is it just a drop of black into white or maybe it is closer to a pinch of white into black?
How do we know what is the correct shade of gray?
If white is white and black is black, why can’t we come up with an acceptable color for gray?
You know Henry Ford said that you could have any color of Model T you wanted, as long as it was black. That makes about as much sense as finding the correct shade of gray.
A good shade of gray for you, does not work for me. I think it should be a little darker or maybe a touch lighter.
You and I live in different worlds when it comes to color, tints and tones. I look at something one way and see that it would look great if it were black, but you think that it needs to be blue or red.
We see things differently.
Our idea of good and bad are different. Is it gray or is it gray?
Is it closer to white or is it closer to black?
I think setting down at breakfast on Saturday morning and having a big slice of ham, hash browns, eggs (egg beaters in my case), and along with a couple slices of toast, orange juice and coffee is a nice way to start the day.
You however might think that this is gluttony, it is way too much food and gluttony is a sin.
What is good for me is not good for you.
Now is this black and white, or is it a shade of gray?
Romans 14:1-4; Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
The bible is clear that we are not to judge. What is black and white is clear to them. But it may seem to be off color to you. It could appear to be gray to you.
Paul is trying to instill on us that some of us are weak in our faith and others are stronger. Some of us try to make ourselves look better than we are by putting our standards on others.
If we are truly honest with our selves, we will realize that we all have strengths and weaknesses.
We need to do a self-exam of our spiritual condition. Where are we strong and what are our weaknesses?
We can get caught up in the gray areas. What is right or wrong for us and if that applies to everyone. We need to stop and ask if we can go and do something without sinning against others.
Will my actions be of help or a hindrance to others?
If I’m not convicted of it my self, but it could cause someone else to falter if they see me do it, is it wrong for me to do?
The weak faith or immature faith is not to be judge by us; we are to pray for growth for that person. We are to council and disciple with out judgment on our part.
Most of the gray comes from our opinions and personal standards; they should be considered and used for growth in our personal live and in our spiritual growth.
We all have our own way of looking at things; we don’t need to build up walls of disagreement, but bridges of understanding.
Certainly some issues are central to the faith and worth fighting for, but many are based on individual differences and should not be legislated to others.
Our principle should be: In essentials, unity;
in nonessentials, liberty, in everything, love.
I talked about my breakfast and how I enjoyed a big slice of ham; some people think that ham is unclean, so if I deliberately eat ham in front of them, I feel that I have sinned. Just because it caused them discomfort and my intentions were on purpose.
If I have acted in a non-loving way towards them and that is wrong in God’s eyes.
God has put some real hard guide lines down to us. We can look at the Ten Commandments:
1. Have no other gods.
2. Do not make idols to worship
3. Don’t misuse the name of God