Unfortunately Christians these days routinely and confidently assert their supposed insight into the thoughts and motives of those with whom they disagree. God’s people are regrettably mirroring the practice of the world by all too often claiming to know what others are thinking. While it is common to routinely impugn motives, the Bible prohibits such arrogant judgments. We may be told to adjudicate words and actions (cf. 1Cor.5:11-13; 6:2-5; et al.), but we cannot possibly judge someone else’s motives. When it comes to “why” someone did what he or she did, the Bible affirms what should be obvious to all: “no one knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him” (1Cor.2:11). Paul says that when it comes to another’s motives we must “wait until the Lord comes” when Christ “will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts” (1Cor.4:5). So let us refrain from saying we know “why” he or she did or said this or that, and let us only deal with ourselves regarding motives. Let us each spend more time allowing the convicting word of God to expose the “thoughts and intentions” of our own hearts as we prepare for the Lord’s arrival (Heb.4:12). Transgressing God’s word in this matter and engaging in accusing one another based on the speculative guesswork of appraising one another’s motives can only lead to trouble.
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