Faith and My Growing Shades of Gray


Years ago life and faith were more black and white than they are today. Maybe I was more self righteous in those days or perhaps a simple “right or wrong” world was a  much easier proposition to deal with than the complex place of multiple shades of gray. I know I have changed. I’m not talking about making a big theological shift that would shake the foundation of my faith. But the more self aware I become of my own human condition, the more willing I am to extend grace to those around me.

Shades of Gray Faith Tolerance

Life is messy. People screw up. A lot. Even people who should know better do stupid stuff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself saying “How could he do that?” But I know how. It’s not as hard as I once thought. While I’m not making excuses for people’s sin, I would not want to be the one to throw the first stone.

I’m thankful that God doesn’t call me to be a judge. He’s more than capable of filling that role. The judging business on earth is exhausting and pointless. Trust me, I tried doing it for way too long.

Today is Sunday, and I’m going to church. Unlike some of the places where I have attended and visited, my church is filled with the broken and hurting. I’m ok with that. I’m one of them. As God continues to help me unpack my own personal “junk,” I’m going to extend to the faith sojourners along my path a hand and help them as much as I can. I hope you consider doing the same.

Are you seeing more shades of gray as you age, or is my faith eyesight going bad?

  • PLAYBOY: In Atlas Shrugged you wrote, “There are two sides to every issue. One side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.” Isn’t this a rather black-and-white set of values?

    RAND: It most certainly is. I most emphatically advocate a black-and-white view of the world. Let us define this. What is meant by the expression “black and white”? It means good and evil. Before you can identify anything as gray, as middle of the road, you have to know what is black and what is white, because gray is merely a mixture of the two. And when you have established that one alternative is good and the other is evil, there is no justification for the choice of a mixture. There is no justification ever for choosing any part of what you know to be evil.

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  • I really enjoy this piece – retweeted by someone I know. I'd love to start following your blog!

    • Thanks for stopping by, MIchelle. I'd love to have you as part of our community.

  • I dont think your ‘faith sight’ is going bad at all. I think going gray is just a part of growing up in Christ. We want to be like him, so we start learning how to look and love like he does.

  • Sam Cintron

    Lesson today with the 8th grade boys I teach was about showing mercy. Used your blog to open up the discussion. Thanks for sharing.

  • Definitely seeing more shades of gray as I grow up. Life just isn't as simple as when I was young. There is more to worry about and more responsibility.

  • I am not sure I have changed what I think is right and wrong im fact that has frown stronger. However my reaction is far more compassionate, and am not as confused as how to handle myself. Only because I have been broken by sin and loved despite it all from a wonderful savior and a loving family. Great post.

  • Brenda Williams

    Great post, Maurilio.

  • Pretty profound thought. Seriously.

    "Life is messy. People screw up. A lot." <- True indeed. I do too and because I do and because I need God's grace, I hope I can extend it to others as well. To me, if we want grace then we have to extend grace. It's not a one way street.

  • Kate

    Great post, Maurilio. I agree. I think what it boils down to, is that the more we grow in our faith, that "white" becomes ever brighter, casting more light on our own sin. With a greater awareness of how we are flawed, comes greater compassion and acceptance for others. If we fail there, then we haven't grown a bit.

    • Maurilio Amorim

      Nice point. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Nice insight. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Kate.

  • "…the more self aware I become of my own human condition, the more willing I am to extend grace to those around me." Good post!

  • Juan S.

    I'd like to add a controversial comment here. Have we ever thought about the fact that God doesnt care about human affairs? A lot of the pain and suffering we talk about is mental and brought up our "advanced" mental capabilities that other species do not have. As well as when those capabilities come into direct contact with a world full of autonomous people with those same capabilities at varying levels. You can call this world society. This is a totally seperate world than the physical world below our feet. Could it be that God really only cares about the chemical reactions and molecule structures and this society that brings us joy and suffering is just a fractal byproduct. Human beings give themselves way too much credit when they think God has a direct relationship with them. Instead of looking outward to the heavens and the stars we should practice or be trained to look inward because it is that inward structure that rubs up against society and can cure or cause most of the suffering in the world today.

    • Juan, I believe God cares because I choose to believe on what the Bible has to say about God's nature and His work in our lives. When Scripture says that He so loved the world that he became human and died on the cross for my sins, I choose to believe that and the kind of love and passion He has for me.

      While I'm not perfect, or had all the answers, I'm so thankful to have a personal relationship with a God who cares and who has been faithful in my life for so many years. There's too much evident of His direct love and care for me over the years for me that I cannot imagined walking away from a deep trust in Him.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I welcome honest, open and frank discussion.

  • Juan S

    And im not saying God doesnt exist lol.

  • The further along I travel in life, the more I realize my need for God's grace, the more I appreciate it, and the more I am compelled to extend it to others. Your post definitely resonates with me, Maurilio. Thanks!

  • I have found that as the years have gone by, I am much more sure of what I believe. That’s for two reasons: I have a greater pool of knowledge and many more experiences to draw upon and reflect. I find it easier now to reason through a thing and figure out if it’s black or white. There ARE benefits to aging…..! It is my heart’s desire to live in loving obedience to the Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, and I am able most of the time to sift through the layers of self and find my motivation – in shades of black or white.

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