I baked an Apple Shortbread today. It’s delicious. I’ve eaten three pieces.
One of my favorite things about the recipe is that it has some relaxation time prescribed within it.
The recipe tells me to measure out the ingredients, mix them together and then:
Chill for ten minutes
I love that part. I have no idea why this decades old recipe would have some chill time built in but I’m not going to complain.
I generally sit down, kick back, maybe put some music on and just, well, chill for ten minutes.
Actually, I normally end up chilling for longer than ten minutes. I mean, why cut a good thing short?
As I was chilling today, something occurred to me.
Maybe it wasn’t me who was supposed to chill. Maybe I was supposed to put the mixture in the refrigerator or something?
It’s hard to tell.
That got me thinking about last winter at the cabin.
We spent some time at a friend’s cabin in the mountains last winter and one day we took the kids out to play in the snow.
It was COLD that day and after a few snowball fights with a rather large amount of snow getting itself into my snow suit, I was FREEZING. Seriously, I thought I was going to turn into a rather overweight Popsicle.
That was when I remembered some advice I had read. I have no idea why those freezer icepack things have advice on what to do in the cold on them, but they do – and so I followed it:
It didn’t specify whether I should lay on my back or my front, so I tried both and neither helped.
It turns out that laying flat does NOT help you warm up when you’re out in the snow.
So why would they write that?
It seems the instruction may have been referring to the icepack it was written on. Apparently it was instructing me to lay the ice pack flat in the freezer, not to lay flat in the snow when I get cold.
So now I’m wondering what else I’ve misunderstood or misinterpreted in my life.
Gabe Taviano wrote about misinterpretation recently. Specifically, he wrote about how people choose to interpret the bible based on their own particular beliefs or desires.
Really, with a little bit of work, people can convince themselves and others that the bible says absolutely anything they want it to say.
So I wonder where my misinterpretations are, where my bad theology is.
It would be incredibly arrogant of me to suggest that I am the one person on the planet who can read the bible and understand every word absolutely correctly.
What do I misinterpret?
I do my best to study, compare, weigh up and pray about everything I read but I know I get things wrong at times.
It’s that knowledge that keeps me on my toes, helps me stay open to correction and reproof.
How about you?
What do you do to ensure you don’t misinterpret what you read in the bible? Have you ever spent time laying flat in the snow only to find out the instruction meant something else?
27 Reply to “Misinterpretations Galore”
I grew up in an ultra-conservative church. There have been many things I was taught as a boy, that I later found out were just traditional beliefs.
Over time I'm had to be more open-minded to what the bible says, not what I've "been told" the bible says.
And, as I continue to grow and study, I still run across thing that I think, "How did I miss that the first time?"
The things we've been taught as unquestionable in church are so often man-made religion.
Like the idea that you'll go to hell if you don't go to church on a Sunday morning.
I find that all the time with the bible. It's an incredibly full and deep book!
I loved this, Peter. And yes, I feel like I lie facedown in the snow at times trying to warm up, but with prayer and chill time, I tend to warm up and realize there's hope in knowing that even if I'm wrong A LOT, I've got a Friend who forgives me and who at least might turn me over so that I'm face up.
That friend is awesome, isn't he?!
What do you do to ensure you don’t misinterpret what you read in the bible?
Lots and lots of prayer…and talking to much wiser, older in the Faith believers!
OMGoogle, Peter! "Chill for 10 minutes". I laughed so hard I scared my dog! We do tend to interpret the Bible to suit our personal needs, don't we?
AWESOME post! Snort!
I appreciate managing to make you laugh 🙂
So are you going to share that recipe? It may be the only way I "chill."
I seem to misinterpret the oft-written "Fear not" messages in the Bible. Can't seem to get it through my head that it does NOT mean "Be afraid, be very afraid." Shame on me.
That's a commonly misinterpreted (or ignored) one!
I'll send you the recipe.
Love the misinterpretation examples. Funny stuff!
We are called to test everything against scriptures, but like you said, we often interpret what we are seeing out of context or to fit in to what we want…
I recently read and wrote a post about Psalm 25. Verse 9 sticks out in my mind right now: "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way." When we approach Jesus in all humility, He will teach us His ways. Humility includes putting aside what we think we know, and relying on the source of Truth and Grace, Jesus.
Great post. Thank you for the reminder to stay on our toes and to seek God's Word instead of reading our own interpretation into it.
That's a great verse and a great thing to remember!
Great post, Peter. Misinterpretations abound for sure! I pray, study, and lean on wise people as well…
You said, "It’s that knowledge that keeps me on my toes…" and I immediately thought "and on my knees" -thanks.
Yeah, when I'm on my knees, I kneel with my feet vertical and my toes supporting me a little so I can be on my knees and on my toes at the same time 🙂
Love the analagy!
I use the beacon bible commentary alot. I don't claim to know everything and when I am doing prep or even my everyday devotions, I find myself looking at the stuff that really sticks out at me. Good stuff man!
I often find myself using just one bible commentary or one reference book a lot and then I find that I start wondering if this book has all the answers right.
I just go with the concept "Question EVERYTHING".
WOW! Candy's comment was mine, but mine was still in my head. I would like a recipe for chill time (and apples yummy)
and 'Fear not' is one of the lessons I just seem to not be able to grasp. Its that internal tug of war between my heart and my head. Do I do what is logical (in my head at least) or do I trust in HIM and ALL His promises that I know in my heart AND head are True and will never fail me.
I wish I was made with more heart and less brain. lol that sounds a bit morbid and maybe only I understand it because it sounded logical in my head but looked bad on paper oh slash that I mean on the screen.
So you're saying that you and Candy are really the same person?
That explains a lot…. 🙂
hmmmmmm Not sure how to take that one.
Jesus only shows up at 11:00 traditional Worship services. There's one for you.
For me it's not just the book but the accent of the reader combined with the translation of the teacher, and the Holy Spirit, because hopefully He's been invited. There's a lotta room for misinterpretation. I'm pretty certain I'm guilty.
I snorted my evening tea picturing you chilling, then on your knees and your toes.
11:00 am – and you'll miss him if you're late!
Glad I could make you snort your evening tea 🙂
Chill for 10 minutes… HAHAHA
This was just plain out good fun, but then you hit me with the serious side.
It does confuse me when they say, "Almost every verse in the Bible will speak differently to each individual."
Sometimes I start to doubt it's the truth, but quickly pull myself together when I'm reminded how God speaks to each of us differently.
Sorry to turn all serious on you in the middle there, I just can't help it!
If you sat three people down and read them Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." one might pick up on "In the beginning, God" and marvel at how God has always been there, on might pick up on "God created" and marvel at God's awesome power and intelligence and the third might read it as a whole and pick up on both aspects.
That's the bible speaking differently to different people. All true, all deep and all inspired by the Holy Spirit yet all different.
chill…too funny. Taking time to chill – God’s idea. It allows Him time to speak and us to hear. Great job Peter.
Yeah, I wish I could say I took that chill time to chill with God but generally I chill with far less Godly music and TV shows.
I'm growing though. One day I'll bake just so I can chill with God for 10 minutes! 🙂