The Bible is a special way in which God speaks to us. Importantly, the Bible shares scriptures that provide answers and healing to our innermost questions and emotions. As we read the Bible, however, people assumedly interpret the scriptures in various ways, some of which are self-shaped loopholes, in a sense, as a means to justify certain actions and thoughts, and this can be spiritually dangerous.
In Luke 4: 9-12, you will notice that Satan quotes the Bible to further his own agenda, and while you and I may be totally taken aback by this level of spitefulness, this kind of behavior is actually common. Sadly, both the enemy and people use God and scriptures from the Bible to justify ungodly behavior or avoid responsibility.
So, how are you reading the Bible?
Do you look to the Good Book as a way to strengthen your faith, gain wisdom and seek unanswered questions or do you look for a means to justify your actions?
For example, in John 2:1-11, Jesus performed a miracle by turning water into wine at Cana’s wedding. This scripture does not denounce alcohol. Instead, the wine in this chapter is mentioned as the best. So, upon reading these verses, do you interpret them as a wondrous miracle or do you suddenly grant yourself permission to drink in excess and shun the dangers of drunkenness?
Also, examine the various scriptures which discuss marital submission. When reflecting on these verses, do you view these words as a permission slip to abuse and mistreat your spouse in a way that demeans them and strips away respect under the guise of submission or do you interpret these words the way God intended—to hold marriage to the highest regard and be a unified team with the utmost trust and respect for one another?
Regarding the example of wine, hopefully, you do not choose the latter, but in the event that you feel as if you’ve been misusing the Bible for your own benefit, now is as good a time as any to realign your heart and mind to reflect on God’s goodness and will for your life. Do not isolate Biblical passages to suit your own agenda and meet your fleshly needs. The Bible provides the answers to countless questions and problems, and the Bible is not intended to excuse sinful nature or support immoral choices. Thankfully, we have chapters upon chapters of wisdom, stories and lessons, and as Christians, we are to use these words to strengthen our faith and understanding.
Even though our true home is in Heaven and not of this sinful world, we do not need to conform to its immoral ways, especially by justifying sinful behaviors through the scripture. Instead, we must live for Christ and be an imitator of the Lord so that one day we can go to our eternal, heavenly home. As believers in Jesus Christ, we should do our very best to refute the corruption of the world and, instead, conform our minds to that of Jesus Christ. As sinners, we will fall short, but we know there is something wonderfully special of us and that is our strength and power to be a light to those in spiritual darkness. We are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).