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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.