As social media platforms have become the “norm”, I have witnessed too many times the beautiful Word of God being used for purposes of self-gain, to prove a point, or, to cause another person to feel bad about something. Sadly, many times, these scripture verses have been taken out of context and thereby, misused. Let me make some important points:
- If you were reading a novel and you opened it and hand-picked a sentence or passage and then used your own interpretation of what it means without knowing what the subject matter is, you most likely would be sharing incorrect information. The reason you are incorrect is that you have not read the entire book or even the chapter. Therefore, you aren’t familiar with the storyline, the purpose for which it was written, or, truly what the passage means.
- You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to study the Bible. You DO, however, have spent time reading AND studying the Word in order to gain a better understanding. If you were to ask me to debate Shakespeare, I would not be able to do that without first reading and studying his work. Therefore, I would not do a great job trying to go toe-to-toe with someone who has spent a great deal of time in his work. Unfortunately, many Christians have not put in the time or the effort to read and study God’s Word.
- The power of the Holy Spirit plays a huge role in our comprehension and understanding of the Bible. When we allow Him to guide us, we gain His perspective and not our own. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5 & 6. We can use this verse easily because the book of Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings and teachings. This book provides us with guidelines and a framework for proper, godly living. To pull a verse from a book in the Bible that is rich in history, storyline, characters, and lessons, we must take the time to read through the entire chapter, understanding who wrote it, what the main message is, and what lessons are to be learned.
Bible study is not and should not be difficult. His Word tells us that when we become believers in Christ, the scales are removed from our eyes. This means that His Word becomes meaningful, and when we earnestly read and study His Word, He will reveal His truths to us. The healing of the blind man in John 9, refers to much more than the restoration of the man’s physical sight. Jesus allowed the man to be released also from spiritual blindness. The famous hymn, “I was blind but now I see” certainly refers to this beautiful concept of having our eyes opened to the realm of God.
The next time you are tempted to throw a scripture verse out there to make a point, take a moment to understand the text you are selecting. You may find through earnest study that it means something entirely different in the light of reading the entire chapter or book. The bottom line is this, God’s Word is enduring, it is alive, and, it does not change to fit man’s narrative.
Blessings to you as you seek to gain wisdom and understanding from God’s Word.