An online devotional for writers
(The) ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters … this will result in their destruction. (2 Peter 3:16, NLT)
One writing’s land mines writing is the danger of writing quotes out of context. In order for your writing to be powerful, it must be faithful to truth.
In a Bible study group, one friend struggled with the concept of forgiveness. “But scripture says, ‘Vengeance is mine,’” my friend said. “I have been hurt and I have the right to get my own back."
It was then that the rest of the group gently pointed out the context of those words: “Vengeance is mine … says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
For many years, this dear man had harbored resentment and bitterness, believing they were his personal right … all because he had attributed those words to the wrong speaker.
If he had taken a few moments to read the entire passage, my friend would have discovered that the reference is to God’s words delivered to the nation of Israel through Moses (Deuteronomy 32:35). The reference was placed smack in the middle of a passage that describes different ways a Christ-follower is to show genuine love, generosity, and hospitality — even when wronged and leave vengeance up to God.
When writing quotes, particularly from scripture, don’t lead another person astray. Misrepresenting truth can be dangerous (take a look at 2 Peter 3:16 if you have doubt.)
The rule of thumb for using and writing quotes is this: is it accurate when it stands alone and out of context?
Quote from context.
Thank You for Your Word. Let me read it and quote it accurately. Keep me from skewing the truth.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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