Today, as I was driving to the river for a swim, I caught bits and pieces of a conversation that my son and his friend were having in the back seat. What I heard went like this:
Khris: When I used to live over here, I would walk there every day for Happy Hour. Happy Hour was from 2:00 – 5:00.
John: Yeah, I’ve been here for Happy Hour.
Khris: They really have some good drinks here.
At this point, I am ready to slam on the brakes and get to the bottom of this story. Why are they talking so freely about Happy Hour and I am sitting right here???!!! These boys are 13 and 14 years old. Happy Hour – really???!!!
But then John says: I just love their cherry limeades.
Turns out they were talking about the Sonic Drive In but I was too busy watching the road to notice it.
Taking Bible scriptures out of context can lead to some wrong assumptions just as surely as overhearing that conversation led me astray. It is funny to me now, but at the time, I didn’t think it was so funny. When I was young and married to my first husband I didn’t know too much about the Bible. My husband and his family did and they let me know this regularly. They were of the belief that women should not cut their hair, should always wear dresses and that TV was of the devil. I did cut my hair, I didn’t wear dresses and I loved TV so there were some disagreements. I felt at times like the Bible was being used as a weapon not to conform me into the image of Christ, but to conform me to their image of the ideal wife and daughter-in-law. I was too strong willed and rebellious to fall into some of their stuff but I bought more than did me good. Not knowing scriptures hurt me. The Bible says that for a lack of knowledge, my people perish.
Without trying to be critical here, I would like to point out that that continues; people using the Bible to manipulate others and if we aren’t careful, we can be led astray. Because I have been pursuing the topic of divine healing, I have read many articles, books, scriptures and encountered many different takes on the subject. I am not an expert on the subject, but I have read enough to know this: whatever may be said about divine healing, it behooves me to build my theology on the word of God and not exclusively on the teaching of others or on the experience or lack of experience of myself or others. I need to know what the Bible says, what Jesus says and build my faith and my trust on that. I need the whole counsel of the word of God, not just one or two verses of scripture pulled out to serve my purposes. What I see when I read from Genesis to Revelations is a God who desires wholeness and healing for His people, those who have chosen Him to be their God. He seems to be a God of restoration, healing, deliverance to those who call upon His name. But don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself, please.
Father God, You have revealed Yourself to us in so many ways, reveal to me any truths I believe about You that simply aren’t true. Teach me through Your word, help me to discern the truth when I am listening to others and grant me the grace to accurately handle Your Word as it brings truth and revelation and healing into my life. In Jesus’s name, Amen.