Has anyone ever said bad things about someone you care about? Probably. Were they true? Or partially true? More than likely. But because we love that person, and we truly know them, we’re going to come to their defense. I may not get along with all of my family, but don’t let a stranger say anything bad about them. That gets me riled.
There is fiction writing that takes chances and creates beautiful story worlds — sweet communities with quirky and endearing characters. Or intense, suspenseful environments that keep the reader on edge. Then there is …
In or out of context, this verse is should be engraved in our hearts and minds. No matter how brutal or hurtful the attacks, our struggle is not with that person (s), it is with the vilest creatures GOD threw out of heaven. Right now, they seek to bring us the pain and disappointment that keeps us awake at night and wasting precious time on vain imaginations.
I pray this verse a lot. How about you? But, what does it really mean? Does it mean that every passage we have preached to our children, our friends, our family, even strangers will succeed and accomplish what we intended? Maybe.
In Paul’s letter to his spiritual son, he focuses on the importance of growth. Not just in numbers, but generating new generations of teachers and leaders.
Wow! Paul’s first book to the Corinthians is saturated with references to the Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy), the Prophets, and the Writings. Why? One reason is, well, he was a Jewish scholar. But mainly because most of his audience — his readers — were from a non-Biblical background, and as new believers their behavior was problematic. Divisiveness, sexual misbehavior, marriage problems, folks suing one another, disruptions during services, and the list goes on.
CONTEXT! Oh my goodness. This verse has been taken out of context for the wrong reasons. Used in ways that inevitably cause discouragement, even as far as a crisis of faith. It is said that “Scripture will interpret Scripture.” In the sense that Scripture must not contradict itself. The most secure way I know for that to not happen is to read passages within context.
To coin an elegant Jersey response, “Yo, Peter! Preach it!” In this chapter, it is no holds barred for our outspoken brother. After Yeshua’s ascension, Peter tempered his reactive behavior for the most part. But, in this chapter, it has returned as boldness. Why?
As another birthday approaches and the knees and ankles creak and moan — or maybe it’s just me doing the moaning — I take comfort in this verse. What you see on the outside is nothing compared to what God is doing on the inside.