A Darker Shade of Gray
Gray is a color that is in between black and white and considered a combo color. Gray is the great non-committal color of the color wheel and is usually used as a background color to allow other colors to be seen better. Why? It has no life in it, or we might say, “it doesn’t POP!” The more you shift it to either dark or light, it becomes more that color. Ex: Put more white in it and it becomes more white, put more black in it…..etc. The crazy thing about gray is that when you put more black in it you can make it totally black after a while, but when you put more white in it, it is not pure white. The black color always bleeds through and keeps it from being totally white again. The dark is a continuous shade that, once added to white, will never be pure white again.
This all relates to the spiritual condition of man and how we try again and again to make ourselves better Christians by doing more and more for God. We think that if we follow through with the duties of the Christian life it will make us look more righteous, or white, to all who know us. Our impression of what it means to glorify God in our life is by what we do and that makes us who we are. When in reality it’s not about us at all. Think about the condition you were in when you accepted Christ. You realized you were a sinner and that the only hope for you was in repenting and turning to Christ and receiving Him as your SAVIOR. When you invited Him into your life, everything changed……spiritually! Old things passed away and everything……EVERYTHING was new. Then probably, no one told you what it means to develop that relationship with Christ, so you defaulted to going to church, reading your Bible (sometimes), praying, and eating out with other Christians. All of those things are good, but what is at the heart of you doing them? Did this activity take you into a whole new way of thinking and continue to develop you? Probably some, but not all you needed. You see, these activities can become like a base you use, like playing tag, and the depth of your faith never gets too much below the surface because they become “habits.” Good habits….but habits.
Look at what Jesus said to the Pharisees when they cornered Him for eating with tax collectors and other scum of the earth. Matthew 9:12 -13 “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. but go and learn what this means: I desire compassion, and not sacrifice, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” It almost sounds like Jesus doesn’t have much trust in “the righteous” and so He finds true honesty in sinners! In a sense, that is true. Back to this default way of living. If we live a certain way, and feel like we are better than most, then we might start categorizing people by how we see ourselves. Our duty becomes our “medal” and not a result of realizing who we are and who Christ is. Our very motivation for living the Christian Life can be wrong and result in a very nominal faith at best. On the other hand, when we have a deep appreciation for the power of Jesus working through our life and daily allow Him to do heart surgery on us the whole thing changes.
Breaking it down: The more we put our duty into our faith, the more gray it looks and no matter how much “white Christian service” we put in the paint, it still looks gray. The result is a very work oriented faith that is more about us than about Him. But the more we throw out the paint and start from ground zero with a true sold out life of surrender to Him, the more pure white the paint will be. Years ago we used to call this “rededicating our life” to Christ. What happens is we come to the point to where Christian games don’t satisfy us anymore and we throw the whole thing out and start fresh with a whole new outlook and faith walk.
I accepted Christ when I was 12 years old and had little or no mentoring in the faith. I was tapped on the heart by God when I was 20 years old and He reminded me that I was His, but I had to let go of all my wrong impressions of Him for the past 8 years and start fresh. I am 57 years old and continue to live out of that refreshing at age 20. White…….White…….You know what they say, “When You Go White, You Lost the Fight!!!” I gave in to Jesus and started a friendship relationship of honesty that to this day makes me never want to live a gray life again. The same heart physician who changed my life continues to work on my heart every day to make me more like Him. The process hurts from time to time, but the end result is being more in tune with Him. Paul wrote about the result of this sold out living and what will happen when you tap into it. This is so encouraging for individuals and for the church!!
Ephesians 1;16 I couldn’t stop thanking God for you – every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. 17 But I do more than thank. I ask – ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, 18 your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, 19 oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength! 20 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, 21 in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. 22 He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.23 The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
So If you want to live in the purity of a faith that changes you drastically, then it’s time to color out the gray, and let the “white light” be seen in your life. No more darker shade of gray. Just a whiter shade of white….every day.
The Pilgrimage continues……