I’m a little bit nervous about today’s post because I don’t always write such assertive things like this. But, the four things I want to share with you have been on my heart a lot lately, and I’m slowly learning just how crucial it is to avoid them. I hope this post is an encouragement to all of us 🙂
–> this post will be split into two parts, so here are the first two must-avoid things. 🙂
1) Taking Bible verses out of context
Oh my goodness, this can be so easy to do!
It may seem like a little thing, but using a verse without understanding the whole passage can be really dangerous. Some false doctrines and religions are built on verses that people simply took out of context, and souls are trapped in darkness because of it. It’s so heartbreaking to see, and that’s why we should be so passionate about reading whole passages before we grab a verse and apply just anywhere.
Even popular verses that we use all the time–like Song of Solomon 4:7 or Philippians 4:13–should be used carefully. Song of Solomon 4:7 is a sweet, popular verse about beauty, but we can’t forget that this was a letter from Solomon to his wife. Not from God to us. Sweet friend, God cherishes you and does value your beautiful self because He created you in His image–but Song of Solomon 4:7 may not be the best verse to use to back up that point because it was written in a different context.
Philippians 4:13 is kind of similar. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This is ABSOLUTELY true! But when we apply it to our situations, we should keep in mind that Paul wrote that verse when he was talking about contentment. In essence, he was saying “I can be content through Christ…” I wouldn’t say it’s wrong to apply it in other ways, because the truth remains in any situation. It’s just important to understand original context and meaning first. 🙂
Those verses are just small examples, but if we’re not careful, we could end up twisting Scripture if we make a habit of using verses out of context.
P.S. When you’re reading my blog, please filter everything I say through the Bible! I never want to misuse God’s Word, and if I accidentally take a verse out of context, let me know about it! We can help each other out. 🙂
P.S.S. Understanding and Applying the Bible is an amazing tool that has helped me understand the importance of handling God’s Word carefully…and how to apply individual verses well. I 100% recommend reading it. 🙂
2) Downplaying sin
I’m not talking about the sin of unbelievers, because we can’t expect people who aren’t walking with God to obey Him. (Although it’s extremely important to understand right from wrong in any case.) I’m talking about our own struggles.
Sin–especially secret sins–can be so difficult to overcome, but the solution is not to just write them off. We can’t just tell ourselves it’s hopeless because, “Well, I guess I’ll always be this way.” or “It’s not that bad anyways…everybody does it.”
No, friend! Trying to convince yourself that a sin is okay will only hurt you more. Continuing in that struggle without reaching out for help will only make your circumstance worse. If we don’t acknowledge the seriousness of our sin, we can’t fully appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin.
When we allow sin into our regular diet, we lose our appetite for God’s Word. We put a barrier between ourselves and God, and grace doesn’t feel so special anymore. That’s never fun. 😦
Sweet person, I’m not trying to shame you. Not at all. These are things I’ve had to learn the hard way, and I don’t want you to go through that too! Facing our mistakes and starting over can seem daunting, but I promise it doesn’t have to be.
1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is FAITHFUL and just to forgive us our sins and CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness.”
God doesn’t want you to be a lukewarm Christian and just muddle through life. He wants to give you rich, abundant life! He doesn’t want you to give up and just wallow in guilt. He wants to forgive you and love on you.
Confessing can be so painful. Admitting we’re wrong hurts. Conviction doesn’t feel great. But God created all of those things for our benefit, so we can be freed and enjoy life to the fullest!
When you mess up, don’t just give up. Ask Jesus to forgive you and restore you, and HE WILL! ❤ God never, ever gets tired of forgiving us.
If you want to study these things in depth, here are some passages that inspired this post!
About the Bible:
About sin/God’s love: