Monday, February 24, 2014

Self-Examination v. Self-Centeredness

There is great merit to reflective, candid self-examination. In the Old Testament, Haggai told the Jews to “consider your ways” (1:5, 7). Paul admonished the believers to “examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). But then almost in contradiction, he said, “I do not examine myself... It is the Lord himself who will examine me” (1 Cor. 4:3-4 edited), which sounds like David's “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me” (Ps. 139:24-25).

Question: Is the examiner me or God? Answer: Yes!

The danger of too much self-examination is self-obsession. That is why, after we examine ourselves, we need to confess our sins, receive forgiveness, and move on. As self-examining believers, we run the risk of being so focused on who “we should be” that we fail to see who “we are,” in Christ, and who “HE is” in us.  Even worldlings know too much internalizing is unhealthy. They say, “keep your eyes on the prize.” Likewise, we can avoid the same by “keeping our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2).

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