Eisegesis - 02

Eisegesis an interpretation, especially of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter's own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text.

I see this eisegetical dynamic at work all the time. We've become polarized by religion, politics, and social issues. We keep listening to people who reinforce what we want to hear. It feels good to be on the winning side. We all like to be right. So much so that we often become blind to what's truly the right thing. This is natural for us, but we can break the cycle if we are more aware of the pattern. 

We bring an eisegetical approach to scripture because that's how we approach other things. Does it seem like no one listens anymore or really hears you? Thats because they listen only to hear what reinforces their own beliefs or produces their own preferred outcomes. It's more difficult than ever to focus and pay attention to other people or think beyond our immediate circumstances. Even in the church, we can't afford to have an open conversation or take an honest look at the scriptures. We think there is too much at stake, too much that we have built up that we're afraid to lose. 

An exegetical approach means we take meaning from the scriptures rather than putting in our own meaning. An exegetical approach to life necessitates openness and risk. We must be willing to set everything aside and allow God's Spirit to speak to us every day.  The next time you read God's Word, or have a conversation, or think about your beliefs just stop first and take a deep breath. Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you see what he sees and receive what he as waiting for you. What a beautiful thing that is!

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