HOW TO EXAMINE YOURSELF
by Jehu Hernandez
Self-examination is an important part of our relationship with God.
There are events in our lives that cause us to take a good look at ourselves. The death of a close friend or loved one, especially if death comes in an accident or at a young age, tends to make us stop this whirlwind of activities we call life and look deep inside our souls.
Examine yourself. That is precisely what the Bible teaches us to do every time we recall Jesus’ death by participating in the Lord’s Supper. But how do we examine ourselves. Allow me to suggest three areas that should be included as a part of our self-examination.
1. Examine your relationship with God.
a. What does our relationship with God consist of? It consists of a true and total surrender of our will to the sovereign will of God; exchanging our agenda for His agenda.
b. Many people who have accepted the gospel have done so because of the benefits that are received as a result of knowing Christ. He gives joy, peace, healing, meaning for life, glue for a marriage, the promise of heaven, etc. So they base their relationship with God on these benefits, but they never cross over into a relationship of total commitment. Consequently, we have an entire generation of nominal Christians who know nothing about power with God because they know little about true commitment and surrender to God.
c. Just how committed is God to you? Well, Jesus died for you to be saved; not only for you to receive the benefits of his death, but he died to have complete rule over you. (Rom. 14:9)
d. Examine your relationship with God. Are you making your own decisions without regard to whether it’s God’s will or only your will. Let your relationship with God be one where only He rules.
2. Examine your relationship with others.
a. Before a person comes to God, he basically lives for himself because man’s basic nature is self-centered. An unsaved person has little or no awareness of God’s laws and certainly has no regard for them. But when that person is saved, he is also transformed by the power of God. That self-centeredness is replaced with a humility and love for others. In fact, the Bible clearly teaches what the basis of our relationship with others should be. (Phil. 2:3; Rom. 12:10)
b. Unfortunately, we live in a society where we are taught to demand our rights. Some Christians have also demanded their right to make decisions without worrying about whether others are affected or not. They say, “I can do whatever I want. I have no obligation to other believers.” The truth is no, we don’t have that right, and yes, we do have that obligation. In fact, if our actions confuse young Christians and cause them to stumble, we will be accountable to God. (Matt. 18:6)
c. God is committed to building a loving family, so much so that he does not even want us to approach him if we are in conflict with a fellow believer. (Matt. 5:23-24) So examine your relationship with others. Are you placing your interests and desires before others? Are you making your decisions without no consideration for how others will be affected? Is there unresolved conflict with others.
3. Examine your relationship with the church.
a. What is this thing we call the church. The church is the family of God, those who have been saved and transformed, those who have been called out of the world, living in community with one another. The church meets together for worship, the church is accountable to one another, the church reaches out to the unsaved.
b. Why is it important to be committed to the church? Because God is committed to it, so much so that his son gave his life for the church. (Eph. 5:25) Because in being committed to it, we have power that hell itself cannot overcome. (Matt. 16:18)
c. Examine your relationship to the church. Are you as committed to it as Jesus is? Are you fully involved in the life of the church? Are you and your family reaping the benefits that come as a result of being committed to the church of God?