Last week there was a flurry in the emerging conversation blogs regarding, as Bob so eloquently puts it, Battle of the Mars Hills. Basically one pastor, whose podcast I listen to, called another pastor, whose podcast I listen to, not so biblically-based. Which, since I hear adult conversation more from these folks that I do in my unplugged life, is somewhat hard for a personality type that desires peaceful relations at all times. It’s sort of like two big brothers aren’t getting along, or one big brother is talking smack about the other, and I just want to bake cookies for everyone to make them happy and agreeable. Because nothing makes people happy and agreeable like Giant Ginger Cookies.
While working on a Beth Moore lesson from my Women’s Bible Fellowship study, I came across an interesting section that seemed to apply to this situation as well as my daily life. The study is on the Fruit of the Spirit: Living Beyond Ourselves. In week two she’s looking at what it means to live by the spirit. This chapter focused on what it means to be spiritually mature. She outlines three types of folks: the natural man (without the Spirit), the carnal man (have accepted the Spirit but have not been transformed), and the spiritual man.
“Finally, let’s look at the third type of person. The Apostle Paul calls this person the spiritual man. First Corinthians 2:15 tells us that “the spiritual man makes judgments about all things.” The Greek word is anakrino, and it means “to discern, judge, to examine accurately or carefully.” What are the things we are to discern or judge? Look back at 2:14: “the things that come from the Spirit.” The spiritual man does not judge people. He or she judges “things.” Very specifically, those “things that come from the Spirit.”
No wonder Galatians 6:1 says only those “who are spiritual” should restore one who has fallen. Only a spiritual person could judge the situation without judging the sinner [emphasis mine]. Go back and review the passage. God even warns that the spiritual individual must restore very carefully and soberly, “or you also may be tempted.”! The spiritual man is constantly aware of the fine line which separates him from the carnal man — a moment’s hestitation.”
I found that interesting, and incredibly challenging. What does that look like? I know I judge people, i.e. live out of the Spirit: so what would it look like to judge things rather than people? How am I called to posture myself so that the Spirit may change that carnalness in me?
Does this resonate with you? Have you experienced this in your life? I’m curious to hear experiences: helps me put things into better context and to contend better with the anxty relationships.