Last Thursday during the Senate hearing regarding the charge of sexual assault, which he has vehemently denied, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was questioned extensively about his drinking habits. He appeared annoyed by the intense scrutiny and in turn asked the Senators about their drinking habits. Of course, they weren’t the ones being investigated and declined to engage in that discussion.
As I was reading 2 Corinthians 13 this morning I thought how much easier it is to examine other people instead of ourselves. In this text, Paul issues this challenge.
“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.” (2Cor 13:5).
Paul was being examined, questioned and closely scrutinized by his detractors. So, in essence, he is saying, “You’ve been examining me, why don’t you stop and take time to examine yourselves.”
The ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, is reputed to have said at his trial, for which he was eventually sentenced to death, that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Of course, he was not talking about inspecting the lives of others, but our own life. Examine yourself.
The Bible warns about being a meddler” in other men’s matters (1 Pet. 4:15). Jesus issued this command: “Judge not that you be not judged.” While that verse has often been misapplied, it is important to note that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge others, when we have more serious matters that need correcting. Examine yourself.
The words of the Scottish poet Robert Burns are worth personal reflection. Translated into modern English, he challenged, “Oh would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.” However, it is difficult, often agonizing, but always revealing to analyze our attitudes, actions, and motives. Examine yourself.
Spiritually, it is a serious matter. Paul says it is necessary to determine whether or not we are really “in the faith.” Paul’s desire for the Corinthian Christians was for their faith to be founded on God’s Word, not in the wisdom of men (1 Cor 2:1-5) He was concerned that their faith might be in vain. (1 Cor 15:14) Thus, he urged them to “Stand fast in the faith (1 Cor 16:13). Examine yourself.
We often hear that “everyone has the right to his own opinion.” However, 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.
Furthermore, an earnest examination will expose whether or not 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. Examine yourself.
Proper self-examination is only effective when we “know ourselves.” The Bible often warns against self-deception. Thus, we must strip away the facade, remove our mask, and eliminate any pretense. Examine yourself.
Self-examination is necessary so 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. You don’t want to fail God’s test. Examine yourself.
The late motivational author and speaker, Zig Ziglar, used to say we all need “a check-up from the neck up!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman