Introspection::Ask the Right Questions
::Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!:: ~ 2 Corinthians 13.5
Introspection is a good thing. Churches have begun to incorporate a lot of time for self-evaluation in their services. While the Bible commends self-examination to us, I also believe that the Bible implies that there is an unhealthy way to go about introspection.
Throughout the process of self-examination, we must be clear on the answers to a few questions.
What is introspection?
The aforementioned verse states that introspection is examining ourselves to see if we’re believers or not.
In what are we supposed to believe?
The Bible says that ::if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.:: ~ Romans 10.9. And, ::as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.:: ~ John 3.14-15.
So another way to summarize introspection is that we’re asking ourselves if we’ve been transformed by the gospel.
I really hope to encourage you as I encourage myself with this: introspection is good and right. We as Christians ought to examine ourselves often to see whether we’re trusting Christ! BUT! We have to ask ourselves the right questions.
We’re not asking ourselves if we’ve been good enough for Christ.
We’re not asking ourselves how our lives would have been different if we hadn’t done such and such an action.
We’re not asking ourselves what other people would say if they examined our lives.
WE’RE ASKING OURSELVES THESE QUESTIONS:
Do I love what God has done for me through the gospel today?
Do I prize Jesus Christ today?
Can I confidently claim the promises of God as my own today, knowing that they are mine not because of what I have done, but because of what Christ has done?
Do I want to rid my life of sin today because I treasure Jesus’ glory above everything else and hate anything that is an abomination to Him?
You see, we don’t want to assert that we are saved simply because we prayed a prayer years ago. We’re looking for fruit in our lives in the moment; that is what introspection is. But, the fruit for which we’re searching is a constant, self-abasing, striving towards Christ. More of Him, less of us; that’s what we’re after. Introspection is not filling out a mental checklist of do’s and don’ts. We’re not saved by our actions. We just want to see that we’re still clinging to Jesus and His gospel, looking away from ourselves day-by-day, moment-by-moment. So be encouraged if that’s the kind of fruit you see in your lives.
We’re weak and frail. We’re going to fail so badly. I have, and I will. But is Jesus our fortress in those moments?
That’s the question.