Shades of Gray


Let love of God, neighbor and self be your guide.

(Listen to my song “Mercy Reigns” by clicking HERE)


Mark 7:8-9

“You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” Jesus went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!”


How many religious rules exclude people from belonging?

Seems to contradict the life of Jesus.

He was quite at home with the people thrown-out by their own religion as well as with a wide variety of “sinners.”

The only group Jesus sharply criticized was the Pharisees…the religious leaders.

They held the people to strict rules no matter what the situation…not allowing any exception based on compassion and grace.

They saw everything as “black” or “white” when real life is made up of many shades of gray.

Rules are nice to have as a foundation to give us some guidance.

But don’t forget that Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to love God with all your heart, soul and mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:38-39).

Love is the top priority.

It allowed Jesus to set aside rules quite frequently.

How could anyone miss this?

Rules must be tempered by mercy and forgiveness.

Filter all you see and do…through the lens of love.


Listen to the song of the day “Mercy Reigns” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.

Sample and/or purchase my songs on iTunes by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

About billtonnis

Child of God, Pastoral Minister, Chaplain, Music Minister, Jail Minister, singer-songwriter, author, activist, former radio news anchor, imperfect follower of Jesus inspired by God's unconditional love, proud uncle... what else is there?
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2 Responses to Shades of Gray

  1. Hi Bill! I’ve been trying to check out your music but unfortunately the videos don’t seem to work. I guess they aren’t available in my country (the UK). Is your music on Spotify or Soundcloud?

    • billtonnis says:

      Hi Steve! Thanks for the interest. I’m not sure why the links don’t work. The links are to YouTube where you would just see the album cover and listen to an audio track. The other link at the end of my reflection is to iTunes. I am pretty sure my music is available on Spotify. I’m not sure about Soundcloud. Let me know if you are finally able to listen. Peace and blessings! ~ Bill

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