Sunday, May 13, 2012

Self Exam

Take a second to examine your life. Don't examine your material success, but how lovingly you've chosen to live each day. This is not always a fun activity, but it is wise to make a habit of it anyways. The first pastor I ever knew taught my communion class to read through each of the ten commandments and consider how we've failed to keep each one. This practice is called self-examination, and like a physical self exam, it helps you to catch problems early.

Photo By Cea.
Initially though, it was pretty depressing. Taken alone self-examination is a discouraging activity because, if we are honest, we inevitably discover that we are worse than we thought. Try it anyway; remember that God doesn't intend for us to live with guilt (2 Cor 7:10). If we follow up our examinations by confessing our shortcoming, then we get to soak in Jesus' forgiveness, and that is a very rejuvenating activity.

Remembering our own sins puts Jesus' sacrifice and free gift of forgiveness into context for us. Although we were created to love and to be loved, considering how we behave, we don't deserve either.  Regardless of what we deserve, however, Jesus loves all of us relentlessly. 

Self-examination is valuable for two reasons. First it remind us, if we've become proud and intolerant, that we are each sinners who deserve punishment. Second, and more importantly, it reminds those of us who mistakenly dwell on our failings that God cares for us with immeasurable love, and in spite of all we've done he delights in us and forgives us freely.

Give yourself a self-exam today. Early detection saves lives.

1 comment:

  1. Amen. Martin Luther suggested a daily self-exam and confession of sins followed by a receiving of forgiveness. Then, he said, we could go about our day with songs of joy in our heart.


Comment! Our discussion is incomplete without your voice. Shout your support, be verbose or dissent from popular opinion. Whatever you do just please be polite. Stay on topic. Also don't feed the trolls. Now write a comment you eloquent thinker you!