Saturday, August 1, 2009

Spiritual Judgment

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things…” (1 Corinthians 2:15)

According to this verse, the truly spiritual man or woman judges things, not people. I realize this kind of judgment eventually works its way down to people whose lives fall on the wrong side of right and wrong; but the fact remains, when our judgment begins with the person, right and wrong becomes blurred.

Paul had quite a bit to say about judging one another. Perhaps because he had been on the receiving end of it from the beginning of his conversion. Even his apostleship was questioned (1 Cor. 9:1-2). At one point, he proclaimed, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment” (1 Cor. 4:3).

In Romans 14:3, he gives us the rationale behind the argument for impersonal judgment. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth.” You see, here’s the thing; when all is said and done, God’s children answer to Him. Personal accountability may produce helpful safeguards in our lives, but it never lets us off the hook with God. Therefore, giving a man or woman the impression that our acceptance of their conduct is sufficient puts you or I in the position of “master.” And as I like to paraphrase Paul here, “Who do you think you are?”

One of the recognized fallacies in debate or argument is called “ad hominem,” which is simply attacking the person rather than the argument. It’s a method of diversion that seeks to diminish or bolster an argument by pointing out flaws in someone who opposes our own views. And it dulls the point of what may be a perfectly good argument.

Paul says in Galatians 6:1, it takes a spiritual individual to truly restore a fellow believer “overtaken in a fault.” Someone wise enough to know that he or she is susceptible to the same sin. And, as the cited verse says, “He that is spiritual judgeth all things,” not all people. Sin, as laid down by God in His Word, should be named, and the guilty should repent. But when you and I consider another believer’s sin to be a personal affront to us, we are taking far too much upon ourselves.

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