A thought occurred to me this morning as I was re-listening to and critiquing some of our past podcast episodes. The Lord reminded me of some tools we can use as we commit to properly interpret His Word.
Our inclination is to judge and/or interpret Scripture through the lens of our own cultural perspective. With all due respect, I think we as Americans do that a lot. We have strong attitudes about what constitutes respect and rudeness. There are long-fought-for battles of the sexes that affect our outlooks. Politics, upbringing, education or lack thereof, and many other mores play into the mix. But we must remember that the Bible was written in a different culture. And a red flag should go up, especially when we start thinking that God is mean or unfair.
All those attitudes tend to color our understanding of Scripture and, let’s be honest, whether we persevere in studying God’s Word. I’m not saying we all must have seminary degrees in order to read the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is the One who ultimately gives us understanding. But there are certain facts we must consider before we start to read or listen to the Bible. A business plan would refer to them as Key Assumptions.
We Want to Get it Right
Here is the short list that I use, especially when a passage pricks my skewed sense of right and wrong. First, God is love. Then, God is good. Finally, God loves me and means me no harm. These are non-negotiable. We can also add some questions that I’ve shared before like, “What does God want me to know from this passage?” And, “How would I have handled that situation and why?” You probably have several others and I would love to hear them at Lifting Her Voice, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
The point is to pause. Let’s be careful of the filter we are using when we consume God’s Word because, after all, we want to get it right.
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