Self Examination
8/01/2009 | Author: RCW
Going just by the title, let me answer what may be a question for some of you...No, this posting is not about breast exams, physicals, prostate or testicular cancer. In other words, it is safe and pleasant to keep reading. :)

I posted a few weeks ago about our natural and dangerous tendency as humans to fault-find and judge others. Later this week I received a fortune cookie with a message that I thought naturally tied into this post. It simply reads: "It is more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others." I read it and thought, "Perhaps that's why we don't do it (judge ourselves)."

We can switch though-patterns too...The Chinese wisdom in fortune cookies reflects tidbits of what you might call "eastern philosophy." What about what is commonly known as "western philosophy?"

Even Socrates -- the great philosopher and teacher of Plato -- is attributed to have employed the maxim, "The unexamined life is not worth living." That's not just some archaic quip. In essence, the statement asserts that someone who gives no thought to how they live, what they do, what they say, and never taking time to do some introspection or reflect on their own priorities (90% of Americans) are living a meaningless existence.

Okay, so you don't have to be a follower of Jesus to do what Plato and my silly little fortune cookie suggest. The philosophers seem to understand its importance well enough. You can examine yourself just fine regardless of your faith perspective. But where the process differs for the Christian is in the standard by which we measure ourselves. For the Christian, we should obviously look to the Bible for our spiritual idea of what should be normal in our lives. More specifically, we long to be more like Christ and develop the fruit of the spirit, grow in godliness, etc. Someone outside the fold of the Christian faith is left to merely aim for "a better self" or readjusting their priorities in such a way that they are more likely to bring success or happiness, etc.

God expects perfection from us. He says multiple times throughout the scriptures, "Be holy as I am holy." The only way to attain it? -It's embracing the work of Jesus Christ and asking that the sacrifice He made on the cross to count for you. If your reading this blog, you probably already know that. But think for a moment just how revolutionary this is for us who have Jesus - we don't have to worry about a thousand priorities or "try" to be better. We don't have to settle for a vague definition of what is best. We don't have to go it alone and figure out what works best for ourselves.

No, instead we have it all there before us. Jesus Christ and His righteousness have become ours. When we do our self-examining we are doing more than looking at ourselves. We are asking God to look at us. We are submitting to His words about what is best for us. We are asking Him to let us see ourselves as He sees us.

What I am speaking of is a spiritual self-examination. Is it time for one?

Prayer: Lord, help me to make your word the standard by which I measure my success. Help me to examine my own spirituality and determine if it reflects more of you or if it simply reflects more of me. God help me to set aside all worrying and prioritizing that does not have you at the center of the picture. Send me to your word to find my answers for how I should be living, how I should spend my time, what I should say, what I should do, where I should go, how I should act, and ultimately the goal for which I strive. Conform me more
-- even this very moment -- into the image of You. Amen.
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