Present Yourself to God as One Approved

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Tm 2:15, NIV

The classic Civil War-era movie, “Gone With The Wind”, adapted from the Pulitzer-prize winning novel of the same name, is an epic story with a run time close to four hours. I can think of two iconic scenes from the movie: one with Scarlett O’Hara standing in a barren field, swearing that she will never go hungry again. The second is between O’Hara and Rhett Butler as he walks out her door and out of her life. “Where shall I go? What shall I do?” she asks him. Butler replies, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a …” We know the rest.

Although these two scenes offer a glimpse into the movie, they are not a full representation of the movie. There are hours of gripping dramatic scenes that lead up to each of them.

Years ago, I was speaking with an older, Christian woman. We were discussing the Bible and I attempted to share with her a revelation I had received from reading, well, a verse from Revelation. Before I could begin, the woman stated, “It’s interesting so many people like to start at the end without having full knowledge of the beginning.”

I can’t say that I was merely taken aback. I was angry. I mean hot with a capital H. How dare she dismiss me like that? I sat fuming for the better part of an hour.

Then, I got over myself.

There may have been a better way for her to make her point, but she did have a point. Reading the last chapter of any book does not give one a full understanding of that book. Crucial scenes pivotal to the story are missed. In addition, reading a sentence does not give one an understanding of a chapter. The Bible is no exception. Being familiar with Scripture is great, but if you have not read the chapters and verses leading to that Scripture, then you can’t understand the context in which it was written.

Careful, consistent study of the Word controls misinterpretation while enhancing one’s knowledge and confidence in the Word. Just as one scene cannot sum up an entire movie, one verse does not constitute the Bible.

Comments 8 comments

Ty Gillis profile image

Ty Gillis 5 years ago from Palm Bay, Florida

I can not agree more. Context is what gives anything it's meaning, especially the word of God. So many preachers point out scriptures to make a point, but I am always trying to read at least the sentence prior to and post. It may not be that they are wrong, but you maybe getting the wrong impression.


cadebe profile image

cadebe 5 years ago Author

Thanks for the insightful comment, Ty Gillis.


lsin82 profile image

lsin82 5 years ago from Houston

You are absolutely right, I think many of us misinterpret scriptures because we take them out of context. We take one verse and run with it without see how it applied to the rest of the scripture. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been guilty of this myself. It was not until I went back and read an entire chapter, or entire book that I realized what the scripture was actually talking about. I have not completed this yet, but it is my determination to read the entire bible cover to cover to gain a better understanding of how the pieces fit...Thanks for a great post....


cadebe profile image

cadebe 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Is in82.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 5 years ago

I agree completly. Many times I have encountered those who pick and choose a Bible verse, but not the cintext of it. A classic example is wives in subjection to husbands while leaving out the part of husbands treating thier wives the way they would like to be treated.

From my experiance the verse pickers are not interested in the Christian life, but to enslave you to thier will


cadebe profile image

cadebe 5 years ago Author

Thanks, teacherjoe52. Good example.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

The whole bible was writen under inspiration so can not be read taking one verse out here and there to suit ones own needs. One bible writer would refer to anothers writings even though living at different times proving that it was all writen under inspiration. So to get the correct meanings one must consider the surrounding scriptures and refer to other books of the bible.It is important to know the meaning of words in the original language too as it DOES change the meaning of a scripture.


cadebe profile image

cadebe 5 years ago Author

Very good point, LadyLyell. Thanks for the comment.

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