It’s getting time to repaint the downstairs of “this old house”. I’m not terrible adventurous when it comes to paint, so I’ll probably just stick with white. I was checking out some options at the paint department. Do you know how many shades of white there are?
Neither do I…
Interestingly, the definition of “white” (in terms of paint, anyway) seems to have more to do with comparison. Pick just one, and yeah, that’s white. But put it next to a “whiter” white, and I can see that the original looks more blue, or green, or whatever.
And the names they give to these infinite variations on a theme are pretty funny: Rarified Air, Intimate White, Big Chill…etc. (You know, people are paid to do that. Someone must have a sense of humor.)
Of course, what name you give it doesn’t change its actual color. We sat around one time coming up with our own descriptions based on personal experience and perspective, like “Sucking Chest Wound Red”.
Probably wouldn’t sell too well. And I’m sticking with white anyway.
Of course, we find this in daily life also. Something looks good but only until it’s held up to what is best. Something seems like a great idea, until it’s compared with unselfish wisdom. Keeping all the rules can even appear, well, “holy”.
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!”
Jesus always had a way of holding our version of white up to His own…
Secondly, (lest we think our decisions are unimportant), we obviously have a knack for identifying behaviors with socially acceptable, even sophisticated names. It’s part of our well-honed rationalization skill set. Consider even our redefinition of the word “partner”.
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
When compared with the real thing, moral hues and tints become more obvious. White is white, and not-white is, well, not.
Certainly, hues and tints are fine when painting my dining room, but not so much when considering eternal things.
Best to stick with true white.
Matthew 5:21,22, 27,28 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.