No Gray Areas
A daily devotion for May 10th
20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
...no lie comes from the truth (1 John 2:21b).
Have you learned yet that no lie is of the truth, that there is no possible harmony between a lie and the truth? In other words, that there are no gray areas in life; that a thing is either black (a lie) or it is white (the truth), and there are no gray areas, though there may be a mingling of black with white. Every Christian has an ability to exercise moral judgment to distinguish right from wrong. It is amazing how many Christians have not learned this yet and still go on echoing the lie of the world, that there can be a blending of truth and error. John utterly cuts the ground out from under that.
I wrote to you, he says,
because you have found this out, if you know Jesus Christ. You may not have thought through the implications, but you must know that there is no possibility of blending a lie with the truth.
One of the glorious things about God's secret purpose, which is the restoring of the life of God to the spirit of man, is that it also reestablishes standards of absolute values and makes moral judgments possible. It shifts us from control by a conscience of convenience to control by a conscience of conviction. These days we are hearing much about
situational ethics, relativism in the realm of moral judgments. What are these? If you cheat on an examination because you do not like the teacher, that is wrong. But if you do it because you are desperate to get a good grade and there is no other way to do it—you have been letting the whole thing slide until exam time and there is no other way but to cheat, then, that is right.
But John says,
No more! Now you know the one who is the truth, and you cannot get by so easily any more. Sooner or later you must explain your actions to Him, and all those wonderful excuses that went over so smoothly with your spouse or friends sound very lame when repeated to Him. He is totally unimpressed by them. He does not say anything; He simply folds His arms and looks at you. You start stammering, and pretty soon you stop, because, as John says,
No lie comes from the truth, and you know that now.
Give heed to these things. Begin to examine the philosophies around you, the suggestions and explanations of life that are presented to you. Measure them according to the truth. Have you come to know the truth as it is in Jesus? Are you ready to listen to the Word of God, unfolded by the Spirit of God, in order that you might understand the world in which you live and the person who lives in it—you? Are you willing to understand how God made you, how He intends you to function, how He wants you to react to situations? Will you let Him teach you to depend no longer upon the false sense of ability that you have lived on all your life, but to renounce that and rely instead upon His life within? That is why John is writing. He writes these things, he says, because he knows the necessary equipment is there. Now use it!
Father, help me to understand the truth as it is in Christ. Help me to turn from every siren voice that beckons me away from Him and to bring all the things I discover, all experiences, all reasonings, to Him.
Life Application: Excuses we make can merely echo the lies of the world. Have we found the absolute truth as it is in Christ or do our excuses reveal gray areas where none should exist?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.