King David seemed to have great assurance of his heart’s loyalty and purity. He even asked God to test him and see that he was unlike the ungodly:
“Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my (anxious) concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!” (Psalms 139:23/24 NET)
When I read this I think, “God already knows my thoughts, my anxieties and where I try to be Boss… It’s really me who needs to see more clearly where I’m veering off the true path!” Kind of a scary prayer to pray – “Lord, show me my idolatrous ways.”
However, Paul encourages: “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.” (2Corinthians 13:5 MSG)
So – I’ve been praying to see… and God has been faithful to show. 3 times in the last week my eyes were opened to some ugly truth: I heard what I wanted to hear, I didn’t ask God if I should do thus-an-such, I just went and did it anyway. All were fairly subtle things, but all brought unnecessary chaos for myself or others. Just because I played Boss.
I don’t mean to say I can’t think for myself, or that I should live life fearfully, stressing over every detail, but if on the other hand, I find myself having to “explain” my actions to others or “not wanting to the tell the details” (especially to my husband)… unacknowledged red-flags are flying!
Taking a Personal Inventory is just one of the things I really appreciate about The 12 Step Program. Our son introduced us to this years ago and his continual self introspection/evaluation prompts me to do the same. It’s a good process, because seeing someone else’s “specks” is always easier than our own “log”…
“Therefore let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation].” 1 CORINTHIANS 10:12 AMP
Thank You, Lord for helping me evaluate my words and actions. You always show me where I’m not hitting the mark. I want to follow the reliable ancient path Jesus laid out. And… I’m forever grateful for Your forgiveness! 🙂
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