"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

“Seeds of Grace” Self Examination

Saturday, March 9, 2019

“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:40

There are times when the Internet provides very helpful, even life-saving, information concerning health issues.  That said, have you ever gone on-line to self-diagnose some condition or symptom, and then, perhaps in a state of some anxiety, visited the doctor to be told, no, it’s not that serious?  Self-assessment, the ‘study’ of one’s own behavior, character and motivations, can be a constructive practice, promoted in various milieu from Psychology Today to the Bible.  It has the potential to be an effective supplement to the hummus which nurtures our growth and maturation in Christ.  Looking inward, and acting on our findings, can strengthen us so that we can give more fully, outward, in witness, ministry and service.

John Wesley, English cleric, theologian and evangelist, did some work in this area suggesting the following types of questions to ask oneself: Can I be trusted? Am I a slave to consumerism, addictions, habits, affirmation? Am I a hypocrite? Do I lie, gossip, cheat, disobey God? Am I proud, jealous, impure?  Do I study God’s Word and engage in prayer? The full list (google John Wesley, self examination) may provide additional snacks for thought! (Wesley, viewed as the founder of  Methodism, remained within the established Church of England throughout his life.  Only after his death did Methodism become identified as an independent movement.)

For Further Reflection:Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5