The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, once referred to a person in a letter as a “G-d fearing man.”
When asked why he bestowed such a title upon a person who is known as an irreligious man, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak replied:
“When a pathologist is given a blood sample or a particle of body tissue to analyze in his laboratory, he peers at it through his microscope and subjects it to a series of chemical tests and procedures. If he finds so much as the slightest trace of a certain element, or a single cell of a certain organism, he notes this in his report. For though the quantity he discerns might be minuscule and hardly worthy of regard, it points to the existence, or the potential for the existence, of much greater quantities in the person.
“I am a spiritual pathologist,” concluded the Rebbe.
Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber