Never Use “to me” When Interpreting Scripture
“To me” may seem like an insignificant phrase, but look at this example from an interview in USA Today with star comedic actor Jim Carrey (emphasis added):
“I discovered a new thing in the Lord’s Prayer that kind of hit me,” Carrey says. “‘On earth as it is heaven’ to me means whatever you take out into the world is what you’re going to draw out. Like those days when you’re all yang and no yin, and you’re fighting with people inside, and you can’t calm yourself down, and suddenly you’re pulled over by the cops. Everything goes wrong in the same day because you created it.”
“So, if you get heaven within you, it’ll be all around you. If hell is within you, it’ll be all around you. It’s always created here first.”3
By using the “to me” philosophy, Jim Carrey stands the Lord’s Prayer on its head. He completely reverses the point of the prayer which is to model for us how to seek the will of God in heaven above–not “heaven within”–to determine our direction here on earth.
Never qualify the meaning of a Bible verse by using “to me.” Our personal take on a Bible passage is irrelevant. Personalizing a passage only feeds our relativistic culture. Instead say, “According to the context of the passage/book, this verse means…”