II Timothy 2:15 (NASB) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Chances are that if you’ve been in the church for a while, you’ve heard some variation of this verse. My concern is that we’ve gotten so accustomed to it, that we don’t really focus on what it’s saying anymore. We’re throwing around opinions and politics like they’re gospel, while the word of truth is being perverted and misunderstood. We have gotten so good at cherry picking the parts of the Bible that we want to beat people over the heads with that we’ve forgotten the pieces that we’re violating on a daily basis.
We are guessing and supposing, rather than seeking God for His divine revelation. The Holy Spirit is available to help us understand and interpret how to apply the verses that we have abused. By reading and studying the Scriptures in context, we gain a better and more thorough understanding of what they mean. We have a responsibility to handle the Word of God accurately. There are people looking to us for spiritual guidance and help with applying the bible to life. We cannot hastily interpret Scripture without properly studying and praying. It doesn’t work that way. There is no magic formula; it takes time in the Word with prayer and meditation.
When you know better, you do better. I am doing better. If I’m not sure, I research, study, pray, and ask questions. Our opinions are not going to hold water at the pearly gates. We have to rightly divide the word of truth (as the King James Version puts it). There are even suspect things being said across sacred pulpits. Preachers and evangelists are humans; mistakes are made. Don’t take anything at face value. Look it up, research, pray, meditate, seek God for the answers. By all means, don’t agree with something if you aren’t sure. Saying “Amen” is your agreement. The last days are approaching, and we need to be diligent about sharing our faith – and sharing it accurately.
I challenge each of us to hold the other accountable. If you catch me using Scripture incorrectly, call me on it. I don’t want to cause anyone else to stumble. We owe it to the Kingdom to do our best to represent it well. We can’t afford to be the reason someone falls away from the Truth. Jesus Christ died for all of us and each of us, and we owe Him our best. Let’s encourage one another to do and be better.