Posted by: pastordarren | October 3, 2013

To What Do We Apply?

There is a phrase that we use all the time in the Church as we study and read scripture. I’ve used it; I’ll bet you have used it too. That phrase is, “How does this scripture apply to my life?”. By asking that question, we are trying to determine what the text we are studying means to us.

I’ve been thinking about that simple word, “apply” lately. When we apply one thing to another, what we apply usually takes the shape of what we apply it to. Paint is a great example of that idea. The paint on the walk or the car does nothing to reshape the surface.

So I wonder, when we apply scripture to our life, does the scripture get changed or adjusted to fit our lives and situations?  I think that happens far too often, even if unintentionally.

What would it be like if we would flip it and apply our lives to the truths and guidance that we find in  scripture? Would our lives be what is changed and transformed to match the love and grace that is shown in the life of Jesus? Would we take more seriously the calls to forgive, love, disciple, give, welcome and the many other calls for those who believe?

Does may think this is a matter of word play and maybe it is.  If words have power and the way we use them can move people and change situations, then this maybe something to think about.

Do we change scripture to suit us, or are we changed and transformed by the power of God’s Word?  Let me know what you think.  I hope for the later.


  1. How does this scripture apply to my life is not usually the question I ask. My question is often what does this mean?
    For instance:
    Jesus came to earth to live among men and die so that we might have life and live it more abundantly.
    Does this mean life now or life after death?
    There is something about the word “apply” that bothers me. It seems that the question should be, (How should the scriptures “affect” my living?)
    In such a case, how my living would be “affected” would depend on the particular scripture, who wrote it, where it is found in the bible, what paradoxes are there, what changes in time and practices, and what is interpreted from Bible to Bible. Otherwise, the average Christian plows through, doing the best he can.

    We can manifest the teachings of Christ in our lives, but we could never ask how his teaching “apply” to us, yet we may ask what is “meant” by some of his commands because in certain ways and books, they are contradictory. We need meanings to guide our actions. We do not need condemnations but renewals and guidance. That is why we are in constant prayer.
    God takes us where we are and guides us forward to the place that we should be in his sight.

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