How Do You Use God’s Word?

For most of us, we can remember back to our elementary school days to that one person who always seemed to raise their hand with the answer, just waiting to show off how much they knew.

Unfortunately, not everyone grows out of this, especially when it comes to sharing their knowledge of Scripture in front of others.

Make no mistake, as Christians we are called to always be prepared to give an apologia, or defense, for the reason for the hope we have within us (1 Peter 3:15), but this same verse also commands us to do so with gentleness and respect.

So yes, we can and should support our position with Scriptural references, but just remember Satan does the same thing, as he did during the temptations of Jesus. The question thus becomes, whose purpose are we using Scripture for? Ourselves or God? Often when it’s the former, we tend to take Scripture out of context to suit our selfish pursuits, leaving behind a wake of disillusionment from the other party or parties.

Many of us have simply not outgrown the desire to always be right at any cost. Our focus turns inward and instead of having a potential moment of effective evangelism—a moment where we might actually be of benefit to another human—we instead drown out any potential spiritual benefit by a tsunami of self-righteous, self-aggrandizing behavior. Worse, we may have completely turned off that individual from talking with another Christian ever again.

It is indeed frustrating to hear the arguments from non-believers when they take Bible verses out of context to support their sinful lifestyles, but our response should never be to “raise the bar” of debate by trying to talk over that individual with our own onslaught of Scripture Stampede. This is what Paul was referring to when he wrote of “gentleness and respect”. We cannot win the war for their soul through such overbearingness. Times like these may require multiple meetings and conversations, so let us not ever close the door to such an opportunity by firing our entire arsenal in the first 30 seconds.

Further, if our sole desire to use Scripture is to be “right”, then how can we see ourselves any better than Satan?

We must always be cognizant of our purpose here on earth—to grow more Christ-like as we journey on day after day. That’s our sanctification, and it requires humility in large quantities for it to have any lasting effect. Our sinful state will easily brush off the humility we displayed yesterday for self-promotion today.

So let us resolve to use Scripture humbly, and never for our own glory. It’s His Word, after all. He should have the glory.