For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

I often see people judging the thoughts and motives of another person with absolute certainty about what that person was thinking. To them, it is self-evident. The quote from Corinthians is a rhetorical question. Paul was not asking for a show of hands on who knows another person’s thoughts. He was saying that we cannot know them. We could know if he told us, or we could know if we had his spirit. We could also know if God revealed his thoughts to us. Until then, we must not judge the thoughts of another person. We guess wrongly and act on our guess as if it were right.

*Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit