March 11, 2017

Black and white

I stayed up late last night to finish reading a novel. It was one of those yarns that may have given me bad dreams unless I knew the ending and that justice was done. It did end well. The antagonist died before he could murder the protagonist and she recovered from the damage he’d done to her and many others. I slept soundly for eight hours.

My brother called this morning and he mentioned several issues that he was “black and white” about. On reflection, we are alike in that. Some might call it ‘opinionated’ or say we have strong convictions, but because we are both Christians, perhaps our black/white attitude comes from another reality . . .  

“He (God) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13–14)

Christians are aware of two realms. One is the darkness of sin, lies, and Satan’s deception. The other is the light of righteous obedience, truth, and God’s leading. While that enemy always tries and sometimes does pull us into gray areas, we live in a black and white spiritual realm that is revealed to us through redemption and forgiveness of sin.

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:5–10)

God is light, cleansing, forgiving, and truth. For me and for all believers in Jesus Christ, He stresses the importance of staying in the light, doing what He tells us, and believing His Word. Without that, we become deceived and truth slips away. Our hearts are less concerned about truth and justice, and certainly less concerned about reading the Bible and doing what it says.

Black and white might sound simplistic, but that is hardly the case. Like the woman in the fiction story I read, fighting to know and live truth is an incredible struggle with many distractions and issues that threaten not only my faith in God, but my ability to discern right from wrong, good from evil. When the issues of life become hazy and start pounding me into the pavement, I call out . . .

Jesus, You are my Savior. I cannot battle this because I’m not sure who or what is the antagonist, the culprit. It might be Satan, but perhaps I’ve sinned and that has clouded my judgment. Whatever is going on, I’m relying on You, believing in You, to make sense of it and rescue me from all danger, including my tendency to stray to the shadows. You are greater the enemy’s awareness of my weaknesses and attempts to pull me away from Your total care for me. Keep me in the light and deal with the darkness that threatens me. Help me remember who I am in You, and to totally yield to Your saving power.

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