There is something called "exegesis," and it is best understood when a pastor says, "What this passage means is…." he is performing exegesis. He is explaining the Scriptures. Did you know that? Some people have learned just enough like that word to get them into trouble. They think they know the Word of God because they learned a word or an idea without understanding it correctly. And many think they want or are performing "exegesis" when, in reality, they are doing something different; they are practicing "Narcigesis."
Narcigesis would be the practice of interpreting a passage of scripture where the pastor/teacher or the listener himself is inserted into the text. In other words, this is the act of interpretation where the meaning of the text is not only forced into the text but is centered around the listener or teacher/preacher. The main idea of the text becomes the listener himself.
SEEK THE WORD OF GOD NOT YOUR WORLD VIEW.
I bring this up because if we are not careful; we can miss out on the Word of God for ourselves. We become narcissists even with the Word of God. And I, like you, am guilty of this. Now hear me out. What I am not saying is that God's Word doesn't speak to you and your life. I have been challenged and encouraged by God's Word, and it felt like it was so relevant and spoke directly to my life. That is a good thing! I am saying that we must always seek God's Word and that means genuinely study it, understanding context, time, place, people to who the letter was written, and the purpose of the letter. Through correctly understanding these things, we properly understand and adequately practice "exegesis" and not "narcigesis."
Are you looking at the Bible to discover Jesus or to discover more of you?
Oh, how I desire to understand the Word of God more and more and not force my selfish desires, cultural norms, or personal thoughts into the Word.
So the question for you is; Are you looking at the Bible to discover Jesus or to discover more of you?