This past Sunday night I was “watching” TV (that is to say the TV was on and I was in the room) on one of the local stations and they had a reporter at one of the area New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The reporter was interviewing various attendees of this soirée about their New Year’s Resolutions. One lady’s reply made me do a double take: “I want to be less committed.”
I thought I must have heard it wrong. I mean most people want to be MORE committed. So, thanks to DVR technology, I rewound it and, sure enough that was exactly what she had said.
So I rewound it a little further to the start of the interview. It turns out that she prefaced her comment by talking about how busy she was and how she has so many things going on and when people ask her to do something she has a tough time saying no...so she wanted “to be less committed.”
It made more sense in the proper context. She probably could have phrased it differently...perhaps “make less commitments” would have been better. But being on live TV can make even the most eloquent person a little tongue tied.
Context is an important thing. In a conversation, if you don’t have the proper context, you will not understand what someone else is saying...in fact you may find yourself thinking they said the opposite of what they actually said.
The same is true with Scripture. We can pluck a verse out of context and make it say something it was never intended to say. Taking a verse out of context can be a very dangerous practice.
This year, as you do your daily Bible study, be sure that you keep verses in their proper context. Read before it and after it to make sure that it says what you think it says.
And don’t be surprised if that favorite verse of yours that you always have quoted as a stand-alone verse suddenly starts to take on a whole other meaning…when you put it in the proper context.