Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Black, White and Gray

I used to study the Bible to gain head knowledge. I didn't realize it at the time. And, really, that doesn't sound like a bad thing. But if head knowledge is all you gain, you're missing out. Please understand that I am not discounting knowledge, the knowledge of God, which is repeatedly mentioned in Scripture. The type of knowledge I'm talking about is when you study the Bible without letting it change your heart. It is knowledge for the sake of knowing information. In addition to the knowledge of God, wisdom, grace and a heart transformation should be the results of Bible study.

I can now look back and see that head knowledge was all I had gained. I used that knowledge to be judgmental. I condemned others for their sin. Everything was black or white to me. There were no gray areas. I was very outspoken, and quick to point out when I believed someone was wrong. I didn't stop to think about the possible reasons why someone believed or acted as they did...where their beliefs came from, what their life experiences were, what situations they might be involved in. I didn't handle situations with wisdom or grace. That is totally opposite of the way Jesus lived His life on earth.

Jesus broke the laws and traditions the Pharisees had created. Jesus was friends with people that the "religious" considered to be among the worst. Jesus offered grace and forgiveness to people I wouldn't have considered offering grace and forgiveness to. That's the difference between head knowledge and wisdom. The Pharisees were full of knowledge (or information). Jesus was full of wisdom and grace.

Today when I study the Bible, I pray that the knowledge of God, wisdom, grace and a heart transformation will be the results. I no longer view things as simply black and white. Rather, I see a lot of gray. Seeing gray gives me room to offer grace and forgiveness to those who need it. I'm so thankful for a few friends who saw gray when I needed it. Not a gray that blurs right or wrong, but a gray that leaves room for love.

Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing. Luke 23:34

Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8


  1. Love this post Rebecca! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Good post. I try to convey this truth every time I teach Scripture.