The secret self - Hope 103.2

The secret self

By David ReayMonday 13 Jul 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. 2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. (NLT)

We often use or at least think the question, “Is that person a Christian?” Fair enough. We do have to make at least tentative evaluations and form some opinions, particularly if we are in church leadership positions.

But we need to be very cautious about jumping to conclusions. As Paul reminds us, human evaluations are nothing compared to what God thinks of us. The most unlikely people may be followers of Jesus. The most impressive churchgoers might not. We can’t finally judge irrespective of our tentative opinions.

We dare not glibly use the phrase “She is no longer a Christian” or “He has become a Christian.” How do we know? Verbal statements may not reflect inner reality. A troubled life may not mean lack of love for God. Estrangement from us or the church may not mean relinquishment of the Christian faith.

We can form opinions and reach qualified assessments. But we can never make final judgements. That, thank God, is God’s job.

David Reay

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