A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook. It’s called the “Five Bible Verses You Need to Stop Misusing.” It’s a really good article on some common Bible verses that many people use out of context.
The point that I think really drives all of this home is at the end:
But there’s an even more damaging effect. If I’m free to ignore the larger context, then it becomes easier to read the Bible like a narcissist. Suddenly, Jeremiah 29:11 is all about me, not some long dead exiles in Babylon. Philippians 4:13 is about my personal achievements, not the hope that sustained Paul in a dank prison cell.
The thing is, the Bible is not all about me. It wasn’t even written to me. And ironically, if I’m going to get whatever it has for me, I need to start reading it with that in mind.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
This reminds me of another article I read many years ago. It was about a professor at a seminary. In class this professor would test out the students. These are seminary students, so they should have better knowledge of the Bible than the average person on the street, at least enough to know when a fake book of the Bible is being quoted. At any rate, this professor tested his students out – he would say a Biblical-sounding verse and give the citation to something like 2 Hesitations 3:15. Then he would ask if this verse was accurate. The majority of the people said yes because the saying sounded like something in the Bible, and well, 2 Hesitations sounds like something in the Hebrew Bible/OT.
All of this is just a reminder – we should be careful when using the Bible. Are we trying to make the Bible fit our little world, or are we using the Bible to learn something about God?