The Gray Area.
The Gray Area: The Ill-defined situation or field not readily conforming to a category or to an existing set of rules.
Growing up I was raised under a set of "rules" and "standards" that I had to keep, if not, I would get in trouble. Of course as a only child from a single parent that causes a lot of problems. Not that it should but it does (that'll be for another post another day.) As a child I never understood why I did certain things until I got older. For example, why did my mom always make me clean up my toys? Or finish my veggies? Why did I have to get good grades and turn in my homework on time? How come I had to save up money if I wanted something nice? Cleaning, being a good student, and a saver of money are things every parent teaches their kids (hopefully) and not every kid will understand why. What was expected from me as a child was very black and white. I never guessed what I was allowed and not allowed to do. My mom made it very clear how I was supposed to behave.
As I got older the things expected from me as a child became second nature. I was good at studying and cleaning up my clothes. I made sure months before my birthday to do extra chores and save money to go shopping when my birthday came. With mastering these small expectations as a kid, my teen years came around and so did more expectations (as most growing children.) There were standards my mom, teachers, friends, co-workers, church leaders, and so on expected me to live up to. Of course as a teen you don't always cheerfully obey all these rules but as you get older you see why its good to live by a set of standards and never lower them for anyone or anything.
Now that I'm in college I look back at my life and thank God and my mom for raising me with a set of rules; for making things black and white for me. I never grew up confused, not knowing what was right and what was wrong. Essentially, I never had grey areas. Growing up in church while working or going to school with people who do not have the same set of standards can be challenging and question your "black and white." It seems like these days everyone believes "If it feels good, do it." "Follow your heart." "If it feels right to you, then it must be right." "What's true for you, may not be true for me." I'm sure you've heard these phrases once or twice. It's said so much that it can almost start sounding good. If you don't carefully consider the truth of these words, "if it feels good do it" then it can start sounding like a deep and intelligent truth. I'm here today to share some truth with you that you may or may not agree with, but this isn't my truth or your truth or the internets truth, or the truth that I think is true because my mom or some pastor told me. This is THE TRUTH. Plain and simple.
BLACK AND WHITE.
The truth is, there is such a thing as black and white. The truth is that there is a God, THE one true God and He loves you. He loves me. So much so that a very long time ago, He gave up His one and only son to come down to earth and give people like you and me a chance to know what true love is. He allowed His son to go through some really crazy and hurtful situations so that He can reach so many people and save them from hell. Not just that really hot place with demons everyone talks about, but from hell on earth. Have you ever felt like things are such a mess that your life is a living hell? Well, God sent Jesus to save us from that hell too.
The reason why I am bringing all of this up is because like I said I feel like nowadays people live in the gray area. Nothing is wrong, and nothing is right. If you want it, come and get it (na na na na, na na na na....sorry I couldn't help myself.) It's sad to me because what happened to wrong and right? Nice and mean? Up and down? In Revelation 3:15-16 it says,
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
This is Jesus talking to His people. I can't help but think if Jesus was living today what He would say to Christians. It's sad as I've grown up to see fellow believers sacrifice what they know is right for wrong. Trade in their beliefs for the gray. The not white nor black area. It's like they don't want to walk away from their faith because thats bad. "Oh my, how could you?! Wow." (I hope you are hearing my tone of voice there and understand my point) But they don't want to go all in with Jesus. Here's my philosophy. If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. if you're not growing , you're dying. If you're not happy, you're sad/angry/bitter/broken. If you're not succeeding in life, well.... sorry to say this but you're not succeeding.
I hope you understand when I use these as examples I don't mean everything literally. For example; If you're not rich, you're poor. Well not exactly, we do have this thing called Middle Class which most of us find ourselves in. So take what I say and apply it to the parts of your heart that feel most offended right now. Why say that? Because as humans the areas of our life that's so quick to defend and get hurt are the areas in our life that are not 100% where they should be. In other words, if you're so quick to tune me out and think of every defense in the book while reading this, second guess why you feel that way. Ask yourself why, challenge that area in your life! Or just send me a nasty email, it will probably happen anyway. (LOVE YOU!)
I'm not here to shove anything down your throat, in fact I hate people that do that. Don't you just hate when people do that? Like when you're walking through the mall and all you want to do is get to the store you want to go to and ALL THE SUDDEN some crazy salesperson just jumps out in front of you putting some random product that is 100% useless in your face. Like sir, you putting a blonde shiny wig in front of my face yelling at me to buy your product will NOT MAKE ME BUY YOUR PRODUCT. Anyways, getting side tracked here. I'm here to share with you the truth.
The truth that is, if you live your life in the gray area you will never see the light of day. If you live your life as a lukewarm Christian, you will never experience the GREATness God has for you. If you live your life doing just enough to get by, are you really living your life to the fullest? Are you really happy? Do you wake up everyday knowing you're living a life that not only pleases God but one that makes you want to jump out of bed? Do the decisions you make reflect your truths and standards? Do you even have any? If so, how consistent are they? My challenge to you would be to set some standards for your life. These are going to be things you know are good, and you will always live by them no matter what. These truths will not only define you but define your future. Want an amazing future? Get some amazing truths. This is the only way to live life to the fullest (and maybe a cup of good coffee.)
So get out there, believe in something! Stand up for the truth. What's right. Don't let some trendy phrase define your truths, search your heart, ask God to show you the truth. Whatever He shows you, write it down. Live by them. Don't back down. No matter what happens, who comes in your life or doesn't, use these truths as a compass to guide you where you're supposed to go. I promise once you do, your quality of life will increase. You'll be so much happier and proud of decisions you make. It will get tough to stick to it sometimes but it's always worth it. Trust me. And if you're having a difficult time you can always start a blog and type away your thoughts (isn't that what I did?) Until next time...
As Told By,
If you have any questions, concerns or comments, comment down below or just send me an email. I'd love to chat!