What Do You Do When the Bible Gives You a Yellow Light?

It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me,” Mark Twain once quipped, “it is the parts that I do understand.” That’s a valid point. Often we can worry more about confusing passages than we do about obeying passages that are easy to understand. But what do you do when the Bible doesn’t seem to address your situation?

So much of Scripture is filled with red lights and green lights. There are really more green lights than red though. Much of the Bible is telling us how to live a full life that pleases God. But there are also red lights: Don’t murder. Don’t lie. Don’t covet.

But what do you do when the Bible gives you a yellow light?

There are all kinds of situations that aren’t addressed by a specific chapter and verse. Should I go to this college? Should I take that job opportunity? Should I buy that house? What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

A mentor of mine used to offer five steps. First, make sure there aren’t indeed clear Bible passages to inform your decision. Second, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to make wise decisions. Third, ask godly counselors who can offer sound advice. Fourth, consider what opportunities the Lord has placed before you. Sometimes, not always, an open door can be a sign of his will. And finally, when all the previous points line up, sometimes God allows us to choose based on our desires. When we delight in him we can have confidence that our desires are lining up with his.

Are you at a yellow light? Are you unsure of whether to go or stop? Check the Bible. Pray. Get godly advice. Survey your circumstances to see if God is opening or closing a door. Then trust God and make a decision. As the line often credited to St. Augustine goes, “Love God and do what you will.”