For When Life Isn’t Black and White

By: Jennie Scott

Do you ever wish life could be reduced and simplified, just like our teachers taught us to do with fractions? Take the numbers you see and reduce them until they can’t be reduced any more — 50/100 becomes 1/2, the large and complex becoming small and simple.

It doesn’t work that way.

I often find myself wishing for simplicity, wishing that everything in life could be categorized into either/or segments. Either people are good or they’re bad. Either decisions are right or they’re wrong.

But it doesn’t work that way.

Everything is not always black and white.

We live in a world of both/and, not a world of either/or. People can have good motivations but choose wrong actions. Decisions can be right in some people’s eyes and wrong in others’.

Everything doesn’t fall neatly into a category, and everything doesn’t lend itself to being either one thing or another.

I don’t get to simplify everything, even though I wish that were the case.

Walking with God is a both/and journey. We can be both scared and stepping forward into the unknown. We can be both unsure of what will happen and confident in God’s goodness. Both remembering the pain of our past and anticipating the goodness yet to come.

I’ve worried before that my fear nullifies my faith, or that my questions indicate my distrust. But they are allowed to exist simultaneously. Jesus never said to solve all our human hang-ups, then come to faith in Him. He said to follow Him. This is what I’ve learned about following: you don’t always know where you’re going. You can’t always see ahead of the leader. You don’t always think the chosen path is best. But you follow anyway.

Emotions can co-exist with faith and not eliminate it. You can be both human and a follower of Christ.

The enemy will whisper either/or statements to you. Remind him life is both/and.

Article supplied with thanks to Jennie Scott.

About the Author: Jennie is married with two children who shares lessons from her own unexpected journeys and encouragement you might need for yours.