Manipulation of the Word
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1
So many people know the Bible without actually knowing the One who is the Word. And some people who know the Word can have an unholy agenda and manipulate it.
Church people do it. Politicians do it. Even pastors in the pulpit do it. They misuse scripture. It is such a grievous offense and because of that, teachers, in particular, will be held to a higher standard. This is one of the reasons why I ran from the call to ministry for years. I felt the pressure as one who was called to teach the Bible. I also knew that the criticism that comes with public ministry is significant. That being true, there is a warning not to use God’s Word inappropriately because the Word comes with power.
Recently, a woman began a fire in California. She said that her motives were good. Her firefighter friends were bored and she wanted to give them something to do. It costs millions of dollars to stop this fire. Fire can be a wonderful thing. We cook our food with fire so that we won’t get sick. It has been used for thousands of years for light and to heat homes, but used the wrong way, fire can be dangerous. Even lethal.
God’s Word is precious. It is living and has the power to transform us from the inside out. It also has the power to wound when spoken from someone malicious. When a teacher uses it to manipulate others into what he wants them to do, using it to say something that it doesn’t, the consequences are dire.
Teaching needs to be driven by the Holy Spirit and not the flesh. When I write, record, and speak, I ask, “LORD, is this Your message?” My flesh is corruptible but my Jesus is incorruptible. Him and every Word He speaks.
Heavenly Father, Your Word is precious to me. Help me to spend time with you and listen. Show me what You would have me speak. And make me discerning to when the Bible is being abused. In Jesus Name, Amen
What are the consequences of mishandling God’s Word?
What are the qualifications in Scripture for a teacher, pastor, deacon, or other spiritual leader?
What steps can we take to ensure that we are not misusing the Bible?