All of us want to know what the Bible means for our lives. Most don’t read it for trivial information about a world long past and customs long forgotten. Instead, we spend time on its pages because we believe it has something for our lives today. Within its books and chapters are lines of instruction, encouragement, hope, help, advice, and the wisdom to let us know God and ourselves better. It is not a dead book from an ancient world, but a living document meant for us today.
The problem is that the Scriptures were not written specially to us. They document the event of ages long past that the ancient reader would understand. They contain historical events along with divine commentary. Someone wrote the pages for someone else in history to receive. So to understand them correctly requires the hard work of proper interpretation.
A tension exists for anyone who wants to know God’s word. First, you must work to understand what the author originally meant before you can accurately apply it today.
While writing this post, I took a quick scan of social media. The good news is that I saw numerous verses of scripture shared by people of faith in various ways. The bad news is that several of them were out of context and violated their intended meaning.
I know we want to share our faith, but we need to be sure we are doing it the way God desires. Our rush to apply it to our present circumstances may do more harm than good. God wants us to know him, but there are rules to reading his word and understanding it properly for today.