We should be careful to take Scripture in context and not twist its meaning. ~~~ Design Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere. Current clothing fashion trends might influence upholstery choices, nature often inspires paint pallets and your favorite coffee shop might have a cool wall treatment you want to try in your own home. In addition to these everyday encounters, we also have home and garden television, websites, and social media platforms that constantly feed us with new ideas and inspirations. These are all resources I have used when coming up with design plans for projects I’m working on. Now sometimes I will copy a design trend I’ve seen online or in a home. For example, the layered rug look I used in this living room was not an original idea, I copied this look from a picture I had seen online. But more times than not, rather than copying an idea directly, I like to figure out my own interpretation of a design that inspires me. This happened recently when I tried to figure out what kind of exterior cladding I wanted to use on this home. I was inspired by a wall treatment I had seen several designers use online that used a pattern of short and long batten strips to create a feature wall in a room. In all the examples I had seen, it was always used as an interior wall application. And while board and batten is a very popular exterior cladding option, I had never seen batten strips applied in any way other than with traditional spacing. So, I let the interior application pictures inspire a new way to install the exterior batten strips which I think gives this home a unique feature that adds to its curb appeal. This was an example where I was able to be inspired by an idea I had seen in one context and apply it to a new setting and it worked. But this is not always the case. For example, wallpaper is another popular wall treatment for feature walls, but could never work as exterior cladding. It might look cool upon initial installation but because wallpaper is made of... well, paper… it would not be able to withstand the inevitable changing weather conditions. This application would be detrimental, not only to the wallpaper but also to the protection of the house. The same can be said about scripture In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul tells us that 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. While all scripture is inspired by God, it is important that each scripture be studied in the context in which it was written for it to be accurately interpreted and correctly used to teach, guide, correct, and or comfort. Studying the context means reading the verses around the scripture to fully understand the author's intent and meaning behind the words. It is also helpful to understand the historical setting and the author’s background and personal experience when writing the text. Some scriptures are stand-alone verses that are nearly foolproof against human misinterpretation like John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus used these words to teach the religious leader Nicodemous how he could be born again and see the kingdom of God and those same words apply to us today. But other scriptures, if cherry-picked out of the bible without context, could actually do more harm than good and be interpreted in a way that is completely contradictory to its intended meaning. For example, Luke 12:19 is red letter scripture meaning it was said by Jesus himself and it says: And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ Without looking at the context, one might conclude that Jesus taught his followers to store up earthly riches with the goal of having a happy, care-free life. But when we read vs 19, within the context of the scripture, we see that these red letters were part of a parable Jesus was telling about a “Rich Fool”. It takes us reading through to verse 21 to see Jesus' main point in his message. Verse 21 explains that a person is a fool to store up early wealth but not have a rich relationship with God. You can see how this scripture quoted alone would have an outcome similar to wallpaper installed on an outside wall- it would go against the author and creator’s intended application and purpose. When we quote or apply scripture out of context we run the risk of promoting our own agenda instead of the Lord’s. But when we study the inspired word of God within the context it was written, we can trust it to give us timeless truths and instructions for living a life pleasing to our Heavenly Father. Thanks for allowing me to share another renovation with you and for joining me as we discover God’s love and restoration for our lives here on Storybook Homes.
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