Many may know that part of my job entails a certain amount of scriptural study and theological discussion. Even when I am not a direct part of a debate, I often find myself peripherally involved. As such, I see and hear a lot of people read their own (often flawed) theology into the text of scripture. The biggest struggle I face is often to get them to look at a verse and its context and see what it actually says, as opposed to what they expect it to say, what they’ve been taught it says, or what they think it says.
For some reason, just today, it dawned on me. The problem here is that most of us do it backward. We read our message into scripture instead of using scripture to test our message. So simple, yet I had never thought of it that way!
All too often (and I know I am at times guilty of this as well) we look at a verse or passage and think “how does that fit with what I’m trying to say,” when we should be asking “how does what I’m saying fit with scripture.”
Because of the two of us, God or myself, only One is always right.