Get a Handle
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Apostle Paul the lead preacher and missionary to Gentiles(non-Jewish folks) mentored a young preacher named Timothy. He wrote Timothy 2 letters that are in our New Testament part of the Bible. In His second letter to Timothy he encouraged him to present himself to God as someone who is approved by God and not ashamed of the gospel(message of Jesus Christ) and to handle correctly this message with truth, because some were not handling the truth very well and causing dissension in the church and teaching things falsely about Jesus and not truthfully(read entire chapter to get story in context).
I am a Christian and proud of it, I also happen to be a Minister/Preacher and proud of that, I have been to Bible college and proud of that, however, I in no way claim to be a scholarly person, a theologian, or expert, and sadly I should have and even now should study God's Word more. Saying that, I also am not totally illiterate or ignorant when it comes to the Bible, but the Bible is a book that must be read, studied, researched, read in context, and also understanding the background of each book(the who, what, when, where, and why).
I see way too many people who do not know the Bible or study the Bible, both those who claim to be Christians and those who don't that mishandle, misinterpret, and miscommunicate the Bible because of their lack of study, knowledge, or understanding. To put it simply the have preconceived beliefs, agendas, or arguments that they support or are passionate about or believe in, or they want to live a certain way and they want God to approve of it or the Bible to back it up. This is not the right way to use, read, or study the Bible.
The Bible is not a pick and choose book. It's also not a book where you believe what you want to believe and twist God's Word to suit you or back up your stance or support your sin or whatever it is. That is not the intent of God giving us the Bible. God's Word is the exact opposite of that. God's Word is meant to give us our stance, show us what is sin and how to avoid sin and anything that separates us from God. His Word is there to transform us to be like Him, not trying to make God like us.
The Word of God is truth. The Bible is our guide, our map, our text book, our manual. It is there to teach, educate, learn from, guide, convict, challenge, enlighten, encourage, equip, train, and correct us. It was not given to us to misuse or manipulate for our social causes, politics, personal agendas, or selfish ways. God's Word is there to inspire us, to learn from history, others examples, to motivate us to learn about God, His plan of Salvation, and to be more like Him. How can we do that if we are not handling the Word of God correctly?
This is nothing new, if you actually read the Bible you will see since sin entered the world and man fell from grace that mankind has tried to mold and shape God in their image and tried to get God to be like them instead of the other way around. We are created in God's image, not God in man's. God's desire for His creation is for us to have a relationship with Him, worship Him, be obedient and faithful to Him, not out of obligation, but out of freewill and most of all out of love. Not mishandle His Word so we can justify or excuse our sin or the world's.
When I see Christians using the Bible to bash other Christians or church groups or I see non-Christians and Christians alike taking God's word out of context or totally twisting His Words for their own beliefs it really makes me sad and I know it has to break the heart of God. People we can't pick and choose what we want from the Bible. We can't use the Old Testament and not even know the truth or the law or the context or we can't use the New Testament and not know the culture and the context and truth.
It's easy to pick and choose random bible verses out and make them fit our scenarios, back our stances, and support our agendas, but it's wrong, it's false, and it's sin. Read the Bible, study the Bible, talk to someone you respect who knows the Bible, join a Bible study, small group, or Sunday School class, get a Study Bible, or look for online resources to help you learn and study the Bible for honest, sincere, no agenda, objective learning. It could change your life.
We are all held accountable and responsible by God for correctly handling His Word and His Truth. You can't know God or His Word if you don't study it or if you aren't open to the truth or His leading. Don't let the world, culture, society, what's popular, what feels good, or what's temporary dictate your misuse of God's Word. Let's all do a better job of correctly handling the word of truth.