Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 25, 2016
Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. Job 5:17-18
A good thing misapplied can become a bad thing. For instance, if a medical doctor diagnoses a person with cancer—when in reality the tumor is benign—then chemotherapy would be unnecessary, perhaps harmful. In the same way, the misapplication of truth can create confusion and hurt, especially when spoken out of judgment and pride. Good words become bad words when they are the wrong words, spoken in the wrong way. If I say the Lord detests dishonesty, but honesty finds favor with God, this would be true. But, if I accuse an honest friend of lying and threaten them with this truth—then I have misapplied, even abused, the truth.
Eliphaz, Job’s “friend,” assumes the worst of his “friend” and wrongly determines that Job is being disciplined by God for sin in his life. He attacks Job’s integrity with a judgmental misapplication of truth. Yes, God’s correction is a blessing to His children, not to be despised—but in this situation Job is not suffering because of the Lord’s punishment. Since God loves and respects Job’s integrity, He honors him by allowing Him to suffer for the sake of righteousness. The Lord trusts the testimony of the faithful to draw the unfaithful to the Faithful One—Jesus Christ.
“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).
Have you been wrongly accused? Has someone used the truth as a club to your wounded heart instead of a healing ointment applied with words? Be patient and forgiving toward the prideful who are impatient and unforgiving. Your integrity is unassailable in the secure hands of your Savior Jesus. Have you wrongly accused another out of anger? Go quickly to the one you alienated with your inaccurate, perhaps even smug application of truth. Humble yourself before the one you offended before the Lord has to humble you for your insensitive remarks. Apply truth in faith and love.
Truth is heaven’s medicine for ailing humanity. It’s to be carefully mixed with a healthy portion of prayer and humility. Preachers and teachers beware of using truth as a bully pulpit or a public exhibition of your intelligence and communication skills. Those who present the word of God like Paul do so with fear and trembling. Handle truth with care, mercy and humility, so you might be handled with care, mercy and humility. First apply truth to your own heart and then make it a habit of your life. The wise willingly apply unchanging truth in an changing world.
“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” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, show Me Your truth, so by grace I can apply it to my life and use it to give life to others.
Application: What truth is the Spirit seeking to teach me? What truth must I teach to others?
Related Readings: 1 Kings 17:24; Psalm 119:43; John 1:14; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Hebrews 5:12
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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