Things would be a lot simpler if everything in life were black and white. You know… if everything were either in or out, up or down, left or right, here or there, etc. Some of you may thrive in the gray areas, but for me, I tend to think it complicates things. Why can’t the internet be either all good or all bad? Why can’t we either always wear our shirts tucked in or always wear them untucked? Why can’t steak either always be a wise food choice or always be a foolish one? Can anyone empathize?
Sadly, I find myself thinking this way about the Bible sometimes. But, in order to submit to everything the Bible says as the final authority for my life, this mindset doesn’t stand up too long. Why? Because God likes paradoxes. The Bible says that we have a will to choose, yet it also says God is sovereign. The Bible confirms that Jesus is fully God as well as fully man. The Bible says that Christians are to actively work to obey God but also rely upon God to work in them to do this. For a guy who wants things to be one way or the other, God and his paradoxes win out and I have to fall in line.
However, these paradoxes don’t come without great blessing. See, God’s paradoxes keep me coming back to the Bible to define what I believe and how I should live. Paradoxes don’t make perfect sense to us, but they make perfect sense to God. If everything in Christianity were black and white, it would be easy to make it into a system or formula to memorize and apply to my life without really needing God too much. As it is, part of God’s design is to use paradoxes in defining Christianity so that I need him and his Word if I am going to be faithful in this life. If you too struggle with wanting things to be black and white, God’s paradoxes may make you a little uncomfortable, but then again, if you believe them, they will keep you anchored to the one who holds all comfort in the palm of his hand.