I completely dropped the ball the other day when I tried to minister to a friend.
We were discussing a certain topic; and almost immediately, I realized that we had different opinions on the matter, and decided to try to convince her that she was wrong and I was right. But she wouldn't back down! I decided to tell her a scary story that I was hoping would open her eyes to the truth, but even that didn't work. Lol. It was her response to the story that stopped me in my tracks...
To put it simply, she basically said that everyone is different, and life happens differently to different people.
And that was it.
Just like that, the conversation was over!
I was so amused by the whole situation, not only because of how it had played out, but also because I'd been reminded of how closed-minded I can sometimes be when I'm ministering to people.
Everything about the gospel is either black or white: there is no middle-ground between darkness and light. However, as Christians sometimes we forget that the world we live in, on the other hand, has human beings who are all different kinds of shades of grey.
This is something that dawned on me one day in my photography class (you never know when and where you'll experience that "Aha!" moment), when our teacher was teaching us about the greyscale. I remember the moment so clearly, when he explained its definition to us, and I thought to myself, "That describes human beings perfectly!" 😃
The definition of the greyscale is, "a range of shades of grey without apparent colour. The darkest possible shade is black, which is the total absence of transmitted or reflected light. The lightest possible shade is white, the total transmission or reflection of light at all visible wavelengths."
The way I see it, we, as human beings, are all on the same greyscale; and in some areas of our lives, we are either closer to black or closer to white. Any sin is black; whereas the absence of sin is white.
And if Jesus is The Light, then the only way we can get to white is with His help - when there's a "total reflection of light at all visible wavelengths" in our lives!
From my own experience, whenever I have considered anything in my life to be "a grey area", it only became clearer to me whether it was black or white when I spent more time talking to God about it.
I believe that the truth regarding anything in life lies within us. Even though we don't really know whether what we're doing or saying is right or wrong, deep inside we know that there's something wrong with the way we see it...and that's exactly why it's a grey area. Labelling anything "a grey area" should inform you that there's a problem there.
And the way we all know this is because the truth is already inside each one of us!
It's the one that makes you question yourself before you do something.
Christians believe that that truth's name is Jesus.
And I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I forget that He met me at the shade of grey where I was at the time - He met all of us Christians at the shade of grey where we were at the time - and then worked with us to get us closer to white.
And yet sometimes when we are dealing with other people, we assume that they are all at black and try to move them to white in a matter of seconds, completely forgetting that we aren't at white yet ourselves. Why should that work on them when it never worked on us?
That's not what God did with us. He took His time to explain to us how we got to that grey area in the first place, and then showed us why staying there wasn't such a good idea; and by the time we were making the journey towards the white it was more of our own decision rather than His.
So from now on, I'd like to be more open to hearing what other people have to say, I'd like to try and meet them where they are, before telling them where I think they should be. I'd like to be more like Jesus in that area. 😊
I don't think that being more understanding of others means that you have to compromise where you stand on any matter. It just means that you're willing to accept that you see things differently; and that's okay! I'd like to be a better representative of God to the world, and show people an accurate example of how He works. And what better way to do that than to become more familiar with the human greyscale? 😉
'If God speaks softly, perhaps we should too. If God does not rant at the world, neither should we.' ♥ - quote from the book Gracious Christianity: Living the Love We Profess. by Douglas Jacobsen and Rodney J. Sawatsky.
I find it easier and more effective to write down how I feel rather than to say it.
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