Wouldn’t you agree the human brain is one of the most beautiful but complex organisms! God designed us to think and reason, and yet our thoughts don’t always honour God. As I grow older, my thoughts seem simpler, less entangled with complications, and my energy is focused on eternity with God. Those who know Him, look at life differently as they age.
Things are very different than when I was in my twenties and thirties. Yet I still look at every day as an adventure and a blessing. Looking at life differently helps you to see the beauty all around us. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made and handcrafted to perfection with a purpose.
So, how do we understand Scripture? My husband always says we need to understand the culture and context in which it was written in the first place; I agree. The Bible is a compilation of 66 books by 40 authors, all inspired by the Holy Spirit telling the story of God. It is a story of how God works in the world through creation, the fall, redemption and restoration. God used humans to write the books of the Bible, with each writer bringing his own personality and writing style. To interpret Scripture responsibly, we must pay attention to the actual words and phrases inspired within the author(s). Our knowledge of the authors helps us understand God’s documents along with the environment and the original audience they address. He intended the Bible and Bible interpretation to be understood in a context of fellowship with other believers.
Our beliefs come from our past experiences and determine how we see the world. Two people may see the same thing but will have different perspectives, and so, interpretations. No one has the same perception while viewing or examining the same thing as another because they base it on their own experiences and observations. My sisters and I shared similar events but had different experiences, growing up in the same house!
I wrote about hoarders last month; many hoarders had nothing during the depression. So, due to the experiences of that era and their particular approach, they reacted differently to their environment after the depression ended.
In today’s generation, everything is available at your fingertips, with the use of computers, cell phones, credit cards, debit cards and loans. It is just a matter of how we understand things and have applied different meanings to what we see.
Others can influence us, and this also affects our perception of things. Another example of this would be attending school. The teachers work hard to give us information, so we can learn and discover new things, but often, as a young student, we would just grumble and complain. Of course, we are grateful as we grow older and come to appreciate our childhood and the lessons we learned.
Scripture is so rich, we can gain new insight into it every single day of our life. We all have little obstacles in life, but what if we consider those obstacles as stepping stones? Those little obstacles actually can become treasures, if we respond with willingness to grow. In many ways, that is how it is when it comes to the meaning of Scripture. God didn’t leave us to discover the meaning of Scripture on our own. He provided us guides to help; for example pastors, commentaries, and the Holy Spirit Himself, and we can return to the Bible over and over as we go through our lives and find more and more meaning as we grow, whether we are 25, 55, or 85.