Who Needs the Holy Spirit When They Have ME?

I’ve written about judgmental Christians before (here and here). And I don’t want to beat a dead horse. However, the topic comes us again and again in scripture. And I’m guilty again and again. The topic reared its head again this week in Romans 14. Apparently it is our human nature to try and figure out things that are un-figure-out-able with our finite minds..like understanding God. Then once we arrogantly think we’ve got everything neatly packaged in our little theology and doctrine box with a bow on top, we then use that set of ideals to judge others..oftentimes other believers.

[Now don’t misunderstand me, I believe sound doctrine is very important. If we can answer some foundational questions and create a lens through which we learn and make decisions, I believe doctrine can help us focus on Christ and His calling in our lives. So I like the idea of doctrine being used as a foundation, or guardrails, for our faith. The skeleton of truth in which the faith and action muscles grow. But doctrine cannot replace our faith. And it is my belief that this doctrine that we settle on could possibly be a distraction to following Jesus. If we spend our lives consumed with studying doctrine and completely understanding everything in the Bible to learn more about theological perspectives rather than reading about and then following the life Jesus modeled, then we may be missing the point. If we study more than we serve, or if we learn more and act less, then we may be missing the point.]

Paul crosses this bridge with the Roman Christians. Some of them had begun judging others because they didn’t believe the same doctrine and set of rules. Nearly ignoring the role of the Holy Spirit, they tried to convince each other they were right (I’ve done this a thousand times). It was believer against believer (has this changed much even 2000 years later?) Paul writes:

1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.2 For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables.3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.

4 Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

So, even when we, believers, disagree with each other on doctrine, rules, etc. Paul says it is imperative that we don’t judge one another. We leave that up to God.

And doesn’t that make sense on so many levels? If I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, then I must be confident that the Spirit will work in every believer’s heart to convict us of our sin, or wrong beliefs, or even incorrect doctrine. Does the Holy Spirit really need MY help to change another believer’s mind about their convictions? No, I don’t think so. I should let the Spirit do it’s thing. This will help foster harmony among believers rather than dissension. I believe this pleases the Father.

19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

22 You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.

23 But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

Alright believers..are you ready to finally kick judgmentalism out of our lives? We don’t need it. I don’ t need it. I need to trust that the Holy Spirit will work in others lives like it works in mine. Follow your convictions regardless of what the other guy is doing..and don’t talk about him. The Holy Spirit is better at that then we are.

Have you ever tried to play the role of the Holy Spirit in “convincing” another believer they were wrong?

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