Knowing the context of any conversation or book is immensely important.  The Guardian ran an article in May 2013 with the subheading, “Sri Lanka has the hotels, the food, the climate and the charm to offer the perfect holiday… It’s just a pity about the increasingly despotic government.”  A highly edited version of this piece was immediately posted on the official Sri Lankan news portal under the heading “Sri Lanka has everything to offer for a perfect holiday.”

Likewise, too often we allow ourselves to take phrases of Scripture out of context, leaving behind the parts we don’t want to hear.

A great example of an out of context quote from the Bible is, “curse God and die.”  But reading in the context we find that, yes, Job’s wife says this to him, but, then, Job reprimands her as this action would be contrary to God’s will. 

As we move between the various contexts of our lives, such as home, work, church, and so forth, we need to be on guard against allowing ourselves to hear a word or see a deed outside of the context of the situation. That’s how gossiping gets started, “fake news” takes hold and, even worse, how we can misinterpret what God is saying to us through His Scripture. 

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash (I apologize for the stereotypical picture but I couldn’t find a better public domain pic.)

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