I love the 1950’s story that comes out of a small, southern Mississippi town of a 13 yr old boy who walked into the drug store and asked to use the telephone.
The druggist handed him the phone. And he heard the boy say, “Is this you, Dr. Anderson?”
“Well I was wondering if you would like to hire a boy to mow your lawn and run errands?
“Oh you already have a boy?”
“Does he do a good job? He does?”
“So, you’re satisfied with him? You are. Ok, thank you.”
He hung up the phone. Thanked the druggist and started to walk out. When the druggist stopped him. “Son I believe I could use an ambitious boy like yourself to work for me.”
“Oh I already have a job.”
“Well didn’t I just hear you call Dr. Anderson and ask for a job?”
‘Well, not really,” said the boy. “You see I already work for Dr. Anderson. I was just checking up on myself.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all would have that attitude to check up on ourselves? This is what Paul is saying in 2 Cor. 13:12.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified.”
In the text, Paul says there are four areas in which we should examine ourselves.
(1) To see if we are in the Faith. That was Paul’s desire for the Corinthian church. (1 Cor 2:1-5) He was concerned that their faith might be in vain. (1 Cor 15:14) He urged them to “Stand fast in the faith (1 Cor 16:13)
Every man may have the right to his own opinion, but his opinion may not be right! The Bible says “there is one faith” and it has been “once and for all delivered unto the saints” (Eph 4:5; Jude 3). The faith is the Gospel. The revealed Word of God.
Are we following the faith instead of popular opinion?
(2)To see if Christ is in us. The Corinthians were overly concerned about human position, prestige and power. They had elevated men improperly. Paul warned in 1 Cor 4:6 “not to think of men above that which is written.”
Vance Havner once quipped “It is possible to know all the answers without knowing HIM who is the answer!” Too often we are concerned with what is politically correct. Whether or not we are in step with others. Or the views of a well-known religious leader. They are not the standard! Christ is!
Are you in Christ?
(3)To make sure we are not disqualified. The KJV uses the word “reprobate.” It means to be rejected. Fail the test. Disqualified. In a moral sense it is a person whose mind is perverted.. We need to examine ourselves to make sure we haven’t failed the test.
Why does a teacher give a student a test over the material studied? To make sure they have passed. To make sure they haven’t failed the course. How would you know without examination?
We can know if we are passing or failing by going to the text-book–The Bible. It gives us the answers. And accurately tells us what our score is.
(4) To know ourselves. It is possible to deceive ourselves. Often the admonition in the Bible is “Be not deceived.”
Socrates said, “Know thyself. For this is the beginning of all wisdom.” Zig Ziglar used to say we all need “a check-up from the neck up!” If you honestly look into the mirror of God’s Word, what do see? What is your attitude? Where is your heart? How are you doing spiritually?
Like the little boy, we need to check up on ourselves. What does the examination show? What is your score? Are your passing? Failing? Or just mediocre?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman