Distinguish between things that differ: Example 1
20. Distinguish between things that differ, for if we do not the Bible will at once appear to contradict itself, and our minds will be in a state of hopeless confusion. If we carelessly generalize and confound things apart, not only shall we form a vague conception of them, but in many instances a thoroughly erroneous one. Most necessary is it that the expositor attend diligently to this rule: only so will he be able to give the true explanation of many a verse. Not only is it important to discriminate between two diverse things, but often to draw distinctions between various aspects of the same subject. Take, first, the word “care.” In Luke 10:41, we find our Lord rebuking Martha because she was “careful and troubled about many things,” and His servant wrote, “I would have you without carefulness” (1 Corinthians 7:32); while in Philippians 4:6, Christians are exhorted to “be careful for nothing.” On the other hand, we are exhorted that there should be no division in the local church,
“but that the members should have the same care one for another” (1 Corinthians 12:25),
and the apostle commended penitent saints for the “carefulness” it wrought in them and expressed his own concern for their welfare by referring to “our care” for them (2 Corinthians 7:11, 12). Thus there is a “care” which is forbidden and a care that is required. The one is a godly and moderate solicitude, which moves to watchfulness and the taking of pains in the performing of duty; the other is a destructive and inordinate one that produces distraction and worry.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures