Self-Examination

“Examine me . . .”

“Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts.

Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Last Saturday a large crew of folks from our church and Jarrett Construction Company met at Wallback United Methodist Church to replace the floor of the church that was damaged during the floods this past June.  The water reached the bottom of the windowsills and destroyed the floor, sub-floor, and insulation underneath.  All was going well as the crew began to peel away the floor and sub-floor to reveal the floor joists, until . . .

All was going well . . . until the crew reached the center of the floor where the joists from each side were connected and sat upon a center support.  When the joists on the other side began to appear, it was almost unbelievable to see the difference.

The joists where the crew started were strong and able to support the new floor.  The joists on the other side were so riddled with holes that they almost disintegrated when the flooring was removed.  Some wondered if the joists were holding up the floor or if the floor was holding up the joists.  One crew member even wondered if the flood was a blessing in disguise, because had the flood not necessitated the replacing of the floor, the hidden, decaying joists might have fallen and caused serious injury.

Self-examination is a critical endeavor for us to engage in on a regular basis.  Just as we might scan our skin from time to time, searching for errant moles, it is also important for us to scan our inner self to find hidden thoughts, biases, and feelings that might be directing our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and actions more than we realize.  Have you ever been startled by the intensity of a response you’ve had to something in the past?  Has someone else ever expressed surprise about the intensity of your response to something?  Sometimes a surprising intensity of feelings, be they sadness, anger, fear, etc., can be an indicator that something is going on inside that might be directing more of our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and actions than we realize.

Another indicator might be our tendency toward blaming others.  Blaming others or intensely blaming others keeps us turned away from self-examination, correction, healing, and peace.  Without careful self-examination we might reach a point that we find our hidden thoughts and feelings are controlling us more than we’re controlling them.  Without frequent self-examination we also might discover that we’re hurting others and ourselves.  What’s hidden beneath the surface that might be waiting to bring the floor down?

The psalmist says, “Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts.  Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.”  Sounds like the psalmist is inviting God to be part of this self-examination because the psalmist is aware that God knows him better than he knows himself.  If we invite God into a similar process in our lives, then we can also be assured that God will help us face whatever it might be that we have hidden away and are fearful of facing alone.  Self-examination is part of the path to greater peace.

I pray that God will examine me, and guide me in God’s everlasting way.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,

Gary

Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24

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~ by revgenelson on September 21, 2016.

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