Many people in the Adirondacks of New York, where we live, enjoy targeting, and hunting with firearms. I enjoy the sports of shooting and hunting too. When it comes to firearms, knowing what you are doing and knowing how to handle the firearm properly and safely is of utmost importance.
In the book, The Rugged Life, survivalist, and writer Clint Emerson includes a chapter on firearm safety. The 5 rules he suggests to stay safe with any pistol, rifle, or shotgun are:
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded, whether they are or not.
- Never point at anything you aren’t willing to shoot.
- Keep the safety on until you’re ready to fire.
- Keep your finger straight and away from the trigger until you are aiming with the intention of firing.
- Know your target and what’s behind it.
As I read this chapter from Clint, it got me thinking about the concept of proper handling of the Bible. Just like firearms are used for both good and bad, sometimes people use the Bible for good and bad. Cults, false teachings, and even some fake “Christians” have sprung up throughout history because of the misuse or even abuse of the Bible. Sometimes well-meaning Christians have a lot of personal thoughts that take precedence in their lives and thoughts over clear Bible teaching. Observe the following verse:
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”2 Corinthians 4:1–2
Just like Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians, we can be reminded to handle the Word of God carefully as well. Here are 5 Bible safety tips:
- Read the passage thoughtfully and thoroughly, picking up the context.
- Understand the audience and the occasion for which it was written.
- Notate all the main characters and the verbs of the passage recognizing specific terms that may be used in the passage. A dictionary, or Hebrew and Greek resource can help.
- Avoid making the passage say something that it is not saying. Be honest with the interpretation and the application.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth as you cross-reference with other passages. As the old adage goes: “The Bible is the best commentary on itself!”
Whether you are handling a gun, or handling the Bible, be sure to “handle with care!”
You may want to read this book: The Rugged Life, by Clint Emerson