"A Text without a Context is a Pretext."
It is very important to consider text and speech in its context.
There was a story about a depressed man who had never been a student of the Bible decided that he would begin to read the bible.
He opened the Bible at random and began to read the verses his eyes fell upon. The place he happened to read was the twenty seventh chapter of Matthew where the writer tells about Judas who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. When he realized what he had done, he took the money back, and the Scriptures say in Matthew 27:5, “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”
When the man in our story read that Scripture, he began to feel very bad. He closed the Bible, and the more he thought about this man’s hanging himself, the worse he felt. But he thought, “Maybe if I will read again in the Bible, I will feel better.” He opened the Bible again at random and this time his eyes fell upon Luke 10:37 where Jesus said, “... Go and do likewise.”
Quickly the man in our story closed the Bible and said to himself, “Surely this does not mean for me to do the same as the man who hanged himself.” Now he really felt bad, but he said, “It cannot mean for me to go and do the same.” So he opened the Bible at random again. This time his eyes fell upon 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “... for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
By this time our man was thoroughly confused and troubled by what he had read in the Bible, but he returned once more to the book. This time his eyes fell at random on John 13:27, “... "What you are about to do, do quickly,...”
The above story is a bit far out and is intended only as an illustration that will point out the need to rightly divide the word of God.
Here is another illustration:
The Bible contains the sentence:
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."... - Psalm 14:1
If the context is omitted, this becomes:
There is no God.
Let us make very sure that we listen carefully and read the context of any spoken or written text so as not to misrepresent any speakers or authors. This could spark off misunderstanding. Thus, be very careful with words.
- The Art of Listening
- The Right Perspective
- Personal Perception
- Read and Think
- Be careful how you say things