Up until the autumn of 2018, I had never met a man who claims to be a most devout follower of Jesus Christ, yet cannot admit he can (still) make misjudgments and mistakes; especially when concerning others. Until I met a man who is so devout to the Lord with his walk and beliefs, that he thinks nearly every step he takes is guided by the Holy Spirit: (except for glitches in the flesh) and therefore is incapable of being wrong – or especially wrong spirited!
This is sadly based on idiosyncratic beliefs, and perhaps is rooted in “self-love” (which we all are guilty of to some degree) yet he uses his perceptions of following Jesus Christ, while in the condemnation of others: whom he believes have never been saved, or have even departed the Lord for “things of the world” (while hiding himself in the cleft of Jesus) – yet to “misjudge” others walks in this manner is very sad indeed!
Even upon my trying to reason with this beloved brother, he merely quoted (partial) scriptures, yet could not see his own fallibility of his judgments. I love the man, so this has been a particularly painful lesson for me, especially as I am most sensitive of my walk in the Lord. Yet I was nearly “disowned” when I got deadly sick, and told I was being “chastened of God” for a 13 year infection which had been growing in my heart’s wiring since originally installed by the military, after suffering my near death experience in the Army in 2005 – with Christ alongside of me! The device was very difficult to remove safely, yet I needed it done. The Lord provided me with the inventor of laser surgery in the heart, so even in this trail and suffering, I was most blessed!
I had even suffered a most terrible reaction to an intravenous antibiotic given me which caused a condition known as “Redman” causing my skin to itch and blister, which reminded me of Job in the Bible! Yet unlike Job, I have a wife who slept in a chair next to me while I suffered in anguish of a terrible burning and itching unlike I had never experienced before, yet it encompassed my entire body. I tried to keep myself quiet but must have failed, as I remember my dear wife sobbing by my side. I thank the Lord he has chosen to give me such a devoted and loving wife, who assists me in my faith, perhaps even more than I give her credit for!
I am cognitive of the fact that my suffering pales in comparison to some others suffering: as a guy in my Army unit, who’s fuel truck hit an I.E.D. and exploded burning his entire body – yet hanging him in a “jell bag” at a burn center, until he eventually expired over a year later! That kind of suffering is unimaginable to me!
Yet beyond physical suffering, the world suffers from emotional and mental suffering of all sorts and degrees, which is beyond the pale of most people’s understanding. In all of this, we also have the “human spirit” at an even deeper level, and wounding that can take years to heal – if it is healed at all! So I believe beyond the carnal sufferings in the world, it is even more grievous to me to mount attacks on one’s spirit, (whom the Lord alone is in control of) and yet men have the audacity to judge another as lesser than themselves, and their associates as often times being better than another.
Unbelievably, even men who have years in ministry in using the name of the Lord, can still be stiff-necked enough to deny others the grace which they have been shown! I now realize even in my zeal for following Jesus Christ, how unbelievably fallible I have been with others, particularly those who have hurt me; and I have asked forgiveness for it, realizing I make mistakes and miserably will misjudge others all the time, even when I don’t realize it!
As fallible humanity we must never convince ourselves we are without the ability to sin, make errors in judgment, and certainly never go ahead and apply it wrongly in another believer’s life! Rather if we are actual followers of the Lord, we should look for him in others, and in all situations which he has allowed in our lives.
We must continually have a humble and contrite heart within us, in order we “don’t miss” the Lord’s workings and healings within another. Even a verse like: 1 John 3:6 (KJV) 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
One can twist this verse to say that they no longer sin (who have been born again); yet what it actually says is 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: (Known as WALKING IN THE SPIRIT ) and this is totally true, yet a constant abiding in Christ Jesus is required; and even the greatest of the Apostles fell short this mark (because of their fallen flesh “Romans 7:17”) and thus needing forgiveness by the grace of the Lord throughout their lives, until they finished the race set before them.
Additionally, (the wicked) “those who cannot help but sin”, (who have never seen him nor known him) cannot help themselves, as sin is their nature… Does one beat a dog for being a dog, or does one have compassion? So how much more should we have compassion for a brother who stumbles and falls during the trials of life? Also, are we worse than a heathen (wicked) for not attending to the needs of our family? Are we without compassion for others? If so, we deny the very grace continually shown to us – and that is the root of hypocrisy for a believer to practice dear brother.
1 John 4 is used to identify the Holy Spirit from counterfeit spirits, as to not be deceived by false teachers and others claiming to be of God. It was never intended to be used as a “soap box” to aggrandize ourselves to others, or to cast aspersions devoid of any truth. So rather than looking at 1 John 4 in a negative sense while searching for counterfeits, it is much more productive that we should identify whom the Lord is moving within; in all the situations which he has engineered within our lives.
Dear Lord, never again might I get so heady as to reckon myself above another….