Examine yourselves, to see if you are in the faith. – 2 Corinthians 13:5
In context, this verse comes just after Paul is defending himself against people who were accusing him of being a false apostle. Take a moment to let that sink in. The author of the majority of our New Testament had people back in the day who said he was a false prophet and that Christ was not speaking through him.
Today we have no shortage of Christians who love to examine other Christians. Joel Osteen comes to mind as a favorite target. I have joined right in with others and said things about him that I now wish I could take back. As I think about it now, I don’t get to evaluate what is in another man’s heart. Plus, I’ve had it happen to me and it doesn’t feel so good. Someone once told me flat out that when I preached or led worship, it appeared to them that I was all about Adam Hopkins . . . not about God. Of course, this stung and cut straight through my heart. I did the only thing I knew to do. I examined myself to see if I really was in the faith and asked God to show me if I wasn’t doing things for the right reasons.
I watch people preach, lead worship, lead on a team, and sometimes my mind makes judgements and I wonder if certain individuals are just going through the motions. Sometimes I ask myself “Does this person really know God?” Every time I do this, when I get alone with God, I’m convicted like crazy. He lets me know pretty quickly that the only person I need to worry about staying close to Him and staying in love with Him is myself. I end up begging God to burn that judgmental crap out of me. I ask Him to wash over me with His Holy Spirit and fill me up so that this filth gets power washed out of my heart and mind.
I told you how I’m doing. How are you doing? Examine yourself today. How is your speech? How is your overall attitude? How do you treat people you don’t necessarily like or agree with? What is your attitude towards prayer lately? What is your relationship like with His written Word at the moment? I don’t believe we are necessarily supposed to suck it up and try harder to do better. I believe when we become aware that we are deteriorating in certain areas of our walk that we are simply supposed to agree with God that our hearts, minds, behaviors, and attitudes are all wrong. Acknowledge what He already knows and ask Him for help. He never fails to come through in this type of request.
Examine yourself. You only have this opportunity while you have breath in your lungs. One day you and I will draw our last one and it will be too late. One day, we will have had our last opportunity.
Examine yourselves and make sure you are in the faith.
Seek Him while He may be found.
Call upon Him while He is near.