There are some decisions in our lives that are black and white. “I need some new clothes, so should I buy them or steal them?” This is one of those decisions that’s not all that difficult for most people, right? There’s a right choice and a wrong choice. A choice that honors God and one that dishonors Him. How about, “Hey, I think I might go out and lie to somebody today…does that sound like something you might like to do with me?” Clear choice. Right and wrong.
Something that is “gray” is neither black nor white. It’s somewhere in the middle…maybe a little more black, maybe a hint more on the white side, but still, it’s “gray.” Differing shades, but gray nonetheless. And isn’t this where lots of our lives operate? We’re not often faced with decisions that are blatantly right or wrong…there’s a hint of gray involved. So how do we make decisions when we don’t have a definitive answer on a given issue?
My barometer is Scripture (though I acknowledge that many people have differing gauges) for matters of faith and practice. If Scripture declares that a thought, a motive, or an action is wrong, then it is wrong…not just for me, but for everybody. If Scripture declares that a certain action is right, or good, then not even the law of the land trumps.
So what determines what is right and what is wrong (for the purpose of this blog, lets focus on things which are not prohibited by law, and which God through Scripture has not spoken clearly on). To get us on the same page, think about things like smoking a cigarette, watching a rated R movie, spanking your children, or getting a tatoo. How about things like drinking alcohol in moderation, watching TV, or drinking coffee. What about saying curse words (excluding those said in anger), sending your children to private Christian school, or listening to secular music?
How do you discern what is right and wrong? Is it your own conscience? In other words, if you’re not convicted that a certain action is wrong, it’s ok to do it?
Or are these gray areas things that all Christians should stay away from? Maybe your mantra is, “If it’s gray, stay away.” Are these things that, when we stay away from them, witness to others of our relationship with Christ?
I’ll post my thoughts on this soon, but I wanted to open up a discussion before I chimed in. Let me know what you think.