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Be Aware: Know The Situation

Why is situational awareness important? In a game like chess, it is crucial to know everything you can know about where your opponent’s pieces are placed, where your pieces are, and how they like to play the game. Who has the white pieces and who has the black pieces. All these factors help you to discern your next move or moves depending on what the other person does. This is an example of situational awareness.

A basic definition (Psychology Spot) I like to use of that phrase is- knowing your surroundings, and other factors that may come into play. It involves drawing a kind of mental map that helps us understand where we are, what surrounds us and what the challenges are that lie ahead. When we are reading or studying the Bible, this is akin to knowing the context of the passage you are looking at. Who wrote it, what time period it was written in, and many other nuances in and around the passage gives the reader context, or a sort of situational awareness.

Take for instance, this passage in 1 Peter  1:1-2  -Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

The first couple of verses in 1 Peter 1 gives us all sorts of information to help us to better understand the context of the passage. It was written by Peter, an Apostle of Jesus. Peter was writing to the elect people a group scattered throughout Asia Minor. Then we see these elect people were chosen by God with foreknowledge. So knowing those pieces of information helps us to better discern how we can go about applying this passage to our Christian lives. Not only applying it, but by knowing it better, we are able to share the information laid out in the passage with others.

So situational awareness is crucial for believers. In learning the things of the Bible (in context) and also in knowing how and when to share certain passages for certain situations. If someone is grieving the loss of a loved one knowing a little about that person’s situation, who they are grieving over, and their relationship to them, helps you to point them to a helpful passage in the Bible. In the case of someone grieving a loss-pointing them to a Psalm like the one below is fitting.

Psalm 23:4 -Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Helping someone grieving a loss is surely a challenge because we want to help as much as we can. Having awareness of their particular situation will lead us to a better understanding of what they may need and how much we need to help. To be sure, even with good intentions helping a grieving person can get tricky. We have to look closely at the situation and try to discern how much help to offer. In fact, we might not be the right person to offer help. Some situations call for different people to offer help and we should be aware of that as well.

This instance of grieving was just one situation that can come up. Knowing as much as we can know about any given situation, will help us to better serve that person. Diligently studying the Bible equips us to be able to have some solid basic knowledge when any sort of situation arises. This is especially crucial if you are serving in a ministerial capacity.

Some church members will kind of expect you to have a vast storehouse of knowledge if you are someone who has a serving role in the local church. But be sure to know that all believers are called to serve Christ’s Church in some capacity, so be ready!

About Matthew S

I'm currently a Deacon at a Baptist Church in the process of becoming an elder. I have an amazing wife and one son. Currently work in a box/puzzle factory. I enjoy studying God's word, lifting weights, hiking, hunting and fishing.

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3 comments

  1. Amen brother! We are all called to be part of His Royal Priesthood. Knowing context is so important, grateful for my study Bible. I believe the saying goes, content without context is just pretext. Great article!

  2. Matthew,
    You must give great sermons; all of your articles are filled with great messages!
    Well done,
    God Bless~

  3. amen matthew

    Great messages brother

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