Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am not the best editor.
There are the gray areas in life when we are uncertain what God would require of us. How should we handle them. How can we be guided through them. The scriptures may not be clear on how we can handle it but the bible does give us guidance on how we can make better decisions. When we experience gray areas that make decision making more difficult there are things we can do that can make it easier for us and help us to make a decision that would please God. I have broken this down in sections with new paragraphs below the scriptures.
The bible tells us everything we do must be based on faith in God. The bible tells us without faith it is impossible to please God, the bible tells us if the things we do are not based on faith it is a sin. This helps us to understand the gray areas when we are uncertain what God would expect us to do. We should put it in prayer to him. Think about what our actions are telling God and others.
Children are humble and usually willful to listen when corrected. They are innocent to sin. Children are usually eager to learn. They usually do not lie. This is why sometimes the things they say are so truthful and observant that it can surprise you. Children usually do not envy others and experience joy when they see others are happy. Backbiting means you say unkind things about someone when they are not present. Children usually do not gossip and criticize others. We all fall short of God and should not be focusing more attention on what we feel others are doing wrong. This can cause us to become prideful and be overconfident in our own spiritual wellness. This is why the bible says there is pride before a fall. By avoiding such behavior and being child like to sin it will protect our hearts and minds and help us make better decisions. If we become overconfident we may start viewing ourselves as superior to others and lose the child like thinking.
The bible tells us let each one examine their own actions , we are not to compare ourselves to others. The whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. If we start comparing ourselves to others it could actually starting giving us a sense of pride because we would see our actions may not be as bad as others are. In doing so we may lose site of what is important, and that is looking into the mirror of God’s word and using it as a gauge as to our standing with God. The bible says we could become a forgetful hearer if we do not peer into the word of God’s laws. The bible tells us if we become doers of the work we will be happy. Remaining in union with Christ means we try our best to imitate his faith and love for God and this can also help us to navigate the gray areas in life. If we think what would Christ do or what would Christ want me to do?
(Romans 14:21-23) . . .. 22 The faith that you have, keep it to yourself before God. Happy is the man who does not judge himself by what he approves. 23 But if he has doubts, he is already condemned if he eats, because he does not eat based on faith. Indeed, everything that is not based on faith is sin.
(Hebrews 11:5-7) . . .. 6 Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him. 7 By faith Noah, after receiving divine warning of things not yet seen, showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household; and through this faith he condemned the world, and he became an heir of the righteousness that results from faith.
(1 Corinthians 10:23, 24) 23 All things are lawful, but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. 24 Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.
(Matthew 18:1-4) 18 In that hour the disciples came near to Jesus and said: “Who really is greatest in the Kingdom of the heavens?” 2 So calling a young child to him, he stood him in their midst 3 and said: “Truly I say to you, unless you turn around and become as young children, you will by no means enter into the Kingdom of the heavens. 4 Therefore, whoever will humble himself like this young child is the one who is the greatest in the Kingdom of the heavens;
(1 Peter 2:1, 2) 2 So rid yourselves of all badness and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all backbiting. 2 As newborn infants, form a longing for the unadulterated milk of the word, so that by means of it you may grow to salvation,
(Proverbs 18:12) 12 Before a crash a man’s heart is lofty, And before glory there is humility.
(Galatians 6:2-5) . . .. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deceiving himself. 4 But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. 5 For each one will carry his own load.
(James 1:22-25) . . .. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.
(1 John 3:4-8) 4 Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know, too, that he was made manifest to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Everyone remaining in union with him does not practice sin; no one who practices sin has either seen him or come to know him. 7 Little children, let no one mislead you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as that one is righteous. 8 The one who practices sin originates with the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, to break up the works of the Devil.
We can also ask God for the wisdom to deal with the gray areas in life. When we ask we need to ask in faith. As mentioned earlier all we do should be with faith in God. So when we ask we should have no doubt that God will grant us what we ask of him when it is his will we are seeking. We know Satan is walking about like a roaring lion. He knows the bible because when he was trying to temp Jesus he was quoting God’s word. If we do not rely on God in those gray areas Satan could use it to his advantage.
(James 1:5-8) 5 So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him. 6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. 7 In fact, that man should not expect to receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.
(Romans 8:13-16) . . .. 14 For all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!” 16 The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.
(1 Peter 5:6-9) 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time, 7 while you throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Keep your senses, be watchful! Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. 9 But take your stand against him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by the entire association of your brothers in the world.
We also have a helper the holy spirit. How can we acquire the holy spirit? There are some requirements to receive the holy spirit. First we must ask for it. We cannot live according to the flesh but we will keep our eyes focus on the things above and not the world or fleshly matters. Our actions need to show we have repented from our former way of life. We also must show our faith through our actions and thinking. The bible tells us we receive the spirit through our faith. We can lose the holy spirit once we receive it if we rebel against God so it is very important to work towards our prayers if we ask for holy spirit and do our best to be Christ like.
(Luke 11:12, 13) . . .? 13 Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”
(Galatians 3:13, 14) . . .” 14 This was so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the nations by means of Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith.
(Romans 8:4-8) . . .. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit. 6 For setting the mind on the flesh means death, but setting the mind on the spirit means life and peace; 7 because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God, for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. 8 So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God.
In the gray areas decision making can be difficult. There are things we can use that can help us to make better decisions especially when the decisions involve working with others. For example do they show the works of the flesh or do they show the fruits of the spirit? If the person has outburst of anger, are envious, get drunk, do they commit immoral acts of sex, are they frequently not open to agreement which causes dissention, do they have an unrestrained sense of shame or rude and overconfidence which means they are brazen. If the person or people we are dealing with are showing these qualities then they are showing the works of the flesh and we need to be cautious of the decisions we make concerning them. They will be deceptive, try to lure us in to making promises that will be difficult to keep. They try to gain our trust to try and take advantage of our kindness and good qualities. They may even try to be extremely kind to us to lure us into a relationship with them. When we deal with ones who display the works of the flesh we have to be very cautious with the decisions we make. Often times ones like this try to get us to make decision without giving us time to think about them. If we are put in this situation we need to weigh what would be best for our relationship with God and not try to please people but to please God first. Those who produce the works of the flesh often times will have hidden motives in in the things they do, so we have to be very careful when dealing with them.
How can we tell if a person or ourselves are producing the fruits of the spirit? Those blessed by the fruits of the spirit will have self control. We all are born sinful but those who are blessed by the spirit will not act on their sinful nature and will do their best not to put themselves in a position to act on their sinful nature. Though things my be approved to do , they may not be right for us if it may cause us to act on our sin. For example if we are prone to having immoral sexual relations we should do our best to avoid situations that could cause us to act on them. By doing this we are showing we have been blessed by the holy spirit because we are demonstrating our self control.
Those who have been blessed by the spirit will have an inner peace in their hearts that protect their hearts and their minds. We will experience anxiety in life but the inner peace can protect us through those times and we will make better decisions in such times. If a person shows they make good decisions even in times of trials or tribulation it is a sign they have been blessed with the holy spirit.
Joy is also a sign a person has been blessed with the holy spirit. Satan and his people will attack those who are following Christ. When a person is being accused by Satan or going through hard times do they usually remain joyful or does their joy quickly return? We may lose our joy for a short period of time but if we have been blessed by the spirit then our joy will return quickly.
Faith is another gift of the spirit, having complete faith in God and living our lives in a way that demonstrates our faith by sharing his word and teaching others to put their faith in God and not letting the anxieties of life crowd God’s word out of our hearts we demonstrate our faith. When being tried, or we have to make a difficult decision we will not panic and make hasty decisions but we will have faith God will guide us and be patient.
If a person is kind in the way Jesus was kind then they are showing they have been blessed by the spirit. Jesus was kind to all people, even the pharisees who opposed him. He was not selective who he was kind to but he was kind to all people. Jesus was willing to serve others and did not look down on anyone. If we have the same attitude towards others by being kind to all then we have been blessed by the holy spirit.
Mildness is another fruit of the spirit. This means a person will be mild in how they act towards others and how they live their lives. They will not react in extreme ways or over react to things. They will not do things excessively but show moderation in the things they do.
Love is also a fruit of the spirit. We can best learn love by looking at the scriptures and taking note if we show love in all we do. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
If a person is patient and does not look out for their own interest first and does not show the works of the flesh then they have been blessed by the holy spirit. We must be patient when making decisions. In the gray areas we need to do our best to please God and not man. If someone tries to get us to make a hasty decision and we are pleasing people we could make very bad decisions that can effect the rest of our lives or someone else life. So by knowing how to deal with the gray areas it will protect and helps us make it through these uncertain times.
(1 John 2:15-17) 15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. 17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
(Acts 2:38) 38 Peter said to them: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit.
(Acts 26:19, 20) 19 “Therefore, King A·gripʹpa, I did not become disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but to those in Damascus first and then to those in Jerusalem, and over all the country of Ju·deʹa, and also to the nations, I was bringing the message that they should repent and turn to God by doing works that befit repentance.
(Isaiah 63:10) 10 But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit. He then turned into their enemy, And he fought against them.
(Galatians 5:19-21) 19 Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, 20 idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom
(Galatians 5:22-24) 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.
(Romans 8:5-9) 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit. 6 For setting the mind on the flesh means death, but setting the mind on the spirit means life and peace; 7 because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God, for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. 8 So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in you. But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit, this person does not belong to him.
(1 Peter 2:21-23) 21 In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely. 22 He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. 23 When he was being insulted, he did not insult in return. When he was suffering, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges righteously. . .