Are There Gray Areas in Life?


Today’s post is inspired by the devotion my family did tonight.  It involved situations where there isn’t a clear right or wrong decision.  There are some things that are clearly right and some that are clearly wrong.  But there are also things that are neither right or wrong they are simply a matter of personal preference.

So this got me to thinking about decisions that aren’t clearly right or wrong.  How are we to discern the correct path to take?    I am a Christian, so The Bible is my source for truth.  Many things are clearly spelled out in The Bible as right or wrong.    For instance, The Bible is pretty clear on lying, stealing, murder, and fornication.   We know that those are wrong.  But there are gray areas that aren’t really dealt with in The Bible…so how do we know what to do when presented with those situations.

Gray Areas

  • Drinking Alcohol – This is a hotly debated topic among Christians.  Many believe that you should drink no alcohol while others think that you should only not get drunk.   Ecclesiastes 9:7 says “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”  This would appear to approve drinking wine.   But there are many warning towards alcohol in The Bible as well, such as Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit“.   
  • Dancing – This is an area that very much depends on context.  But that leads to ambiguity.  In The Bible, David danced before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:16).  But we all know that dancing can lead to impure thoughts and we are also warned against that in 2 Timothy 2:22.  So here we have another area that is not cut and dried.
  • Gambling – Many people play the lottery or play poker with friends for a little money.  But is that a sin?  The Bible doesn’t directly address this which means this is another gray area.  1 Timothy 6:10 is a very often incorrectly cited verse.  It says that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.    But does that mean buying a lottery ticket every now and then is wrong?

How Do We Decide?

When you become a Christian and accept Jesus you also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  He walks with you and helps you with these decisions.  Now, it’s not like you have a red light and a green light that is lit up to let you know. You have to have a heart that is willing to bend to the Holy Spirit.  If you constantly ignore Him and do things according to your flesh then you will consistently make wrong decisions.  But if you will give Him control He will guide you though these decisions.  There have been times in my life when I wanted to do something that isn’t specifically a sin but I just had this unexplainable feeling that I shouldn’t do it.  I’d like to believe that was Him leading me.

So, with that being said I’m going to give you my opinion on the situations above.  First off Drinking alcohol, I think that having a drink with your meal is not in and of itself a sin.  However we must be very careful with our testimony.  We do not want to be the reason someone else stumbles.

Dancing and Gambling can be lumped together as activities that are fine as long as your heart remains right when doing them.  If you have a fun poker night with your buddies and money is involved but the motivation is fellowship and not money then I don’t see a problem with that.  But if you are obsessed with hitting it big and making money then you have crossed over into sin.  Dancing is fine when you do it with a right heart.  However if you dance with someone who is not your spouse and it evokes impure thoughts or desires then it crosses over into sin.

With these gray areas and the many other that exist it’s important to realize that if you consult God and follow His direction then you’ll be fine.  This is true in all things in our lives.  A Sunday School teacher once told us that if we don’t know whether something is right or wrong we need to think…”Would I do this if Jesus were sitting in the room with me?”  That’s a pretty good way to look at it.

That’s my two cents.  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.


About Author

Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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