I’ve been musing lately on the topic of “black and white thinking…” Many christians I know consider “black and white” thinking to be a great thing…. and yet in psychological terms, “black and white” thinking is a sign of something called “splitting” which is part of the overall makeup of “borderline personality disorder.”
I think when christians eagerly embrace things as being “black and white” that it is mostly a stance that is designed to buffer against the feared tendency for people to create “gray zones” of morality.
Now the irony of this, is that nowhere in the world or nature do we see so much “GRAY” as when things actually ARE in “black and white.” That is, the very thing that christians fear, moral ambiguity, may in fact be a byproduct of trying to always cast things in “black and white” terms. Case in point – have you ever seen so much variety of “gray” as you see in black and white photos or black and white television? Gray is the absolute effect of trying to view the world in black and white.
But in LIFE, we see in color. Brilliant, beautiful, color. Thus, the opposite of “black and white” thinking is not as many fear, “gray zone thinking.” No…the opposite, or actually, AUTHENTIC type of mindset that “black and white” is the counterfeit of, is FULL COLOR thinking.
In full color, sometimes you still see something is actually white, or that something is actually black. Color does not preclude the ability to actually see black where black exists and white where white truly exists. But how often do you find yourself obsessed with black and white when you are pointing out how blue the sky is today, or how beautiful that flower is over there, or how cute that chocolate labrador retriever is with his shiny brown nose and coat? Or how yucky the brown pollution is in the wave at the shore?
Life in the Lord is a cascade of colors. Black and White has its place, but it’s not so prevalent as some might wish it to be.
One last thought, from the verse below:
Ephesians 3:10 – “so that through the church the manifold [literally, “multi-colored”] wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
If we dwell in black and white, we risk falling short of our calling as the people of God!