Has someone ever quoted a scripture to you that is so out of context that you are just left like:
This actually happened to me very recently and it got me to thinking about some of the scriptures that Christians misuse commonly (and yes, I have I misused them too). Though it can be quite comical when it happens, misusing scripture is something Christians need to be very careful about because it can be misleading to those new to the faith and those who aren’t believers at all.
1. Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have heard people quote this scripture and say that when you give your life to God you will have only good things in your future. That is not what this verse is saying. Jeremiah 29:11 shows us that God knows every aspect of our future and His plans for us and if we trust Him we will have a prosperity and a hope. This does not mean that we will not face adversity; it does mean that when we do face hardship God will see us safely through it.
2. Romans 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Most times when I hear this verse used, only the “God works all things for our good” part is used. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a really good part of the verse but this biblical promise is only true for those who love God and who are living according to the purpose He has placed on them. I’m sorry to say it (not really) but if you don’t love God, you’re living in sin, or you aren’t living according to His will, He isn’t working things for your good. Also, this verse doesn’t mean that only good things will happen in your life. Once again, it does mean that God will use the tragedies of your life to result in good.
3. Matthew 7:7
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
“Ask and you shall receive.” How many times have you heard that phrase? How many times have you said that phrase yourself? I know I’ve said it more times than I can count. This verse is usually quoted when someone is in need, however, there’s a lot more to prayer than just asking God for something and then Him giving it to you.
For example, 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
When we pray, we should be praying for God’s will to be done and not our own. If our will does not line up with the will of God then we will not be seeing many results in our prayer life.
Though most people have good intentions and their misuse is unintentional, taking scriptures out of context can lead people down the wrong path. I implore that you really dig into the scripture and know what scriptures you are using truly mean!
What scriptures have you heard misused? How can you guard yourself from misusing scripture? Also, how would you approach someone who is misusing scripture?