Ada — It can be easy to latch on to one teaching or another from the scriptures and seek to make it mean something other than what it was intended to mean to match our preconceived notions.
When we read God’s Word, we should always try to read it with an open mind and an open heart so that it speaks to us, rather than using it as a tool to try to confirm the beliefs that we already have.
We should not sit down to read our Bibles as though we already know the truth, but rather search the scriptures and let the truth itself speak to us.
In Matthew 4:5-7, Satan tempted Christ by twisting scriptures in an attempt to deceive Him.
The scriptures did say what Satan said, but not in the same context that Satan quoted them. Likewise, scripture can still be used in such a way that the principle is lost and the naïve can be blinded to the truth and deceived.
Peter wrote about Paul’s epistles, saying, “…in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 3:16-18)
A scripture that I feel is often misused today is found in Christ’s teaching on the mount. He says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)