Saturday, July 29, 2017


If we fail to examine ourselves, we are out-of-touch both with the reality within and without:

  • The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? (Proverbs 20:5-6; ESV)

When we fail to examine ourselves, we are asking for a shipwreck. We are like a captain who navigates his ship without any regard for the dangers - rocks, reefs, shallow waters, and the vulnerability of his ship. Instead, he must regularly consult his instruments to inform him of these dangers.

We too must navigate our lives cognizant of the dangers. We too have "instruments" that give us vital readings. They inform us of threatening situations and even how our motivations and needs might lead us into sin if we are not alert to them.

As with the Pharisee, I too desire to be seen and honored by men, even as I am performing my spiritual service unto God. If I am not alert, pride can co-opt even my most spiritual offering.

Let give me try to illustrate. While we are to correct those who are teaching or living un- biblically, if I am not alert to the Pharisee who lurks within, I might do this in an arrogant self-promoting manner, in a way that will provoke an angry response. This is why Scripture instructs us to carefully examine our own motives as we correct our brother:

  • Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted...For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work...(Galatians 6:1-4; ESV)

Without our Lord, we are nothing and can do nothing (John 15:4-5). If we fail to correct our brother with gentleness, it probably means that we think that we are superior to him and above his faults. And if we are not aware of our own sins, temptations, and areas of blindness (Matthew 7:1-5), it probably suggests that we shouldn't be correcting others.

If we are to successfully navigate our ship called "self," we have to understand it - its strengths and weaknesses. However, seeing its vulnerabilities, should not become a reason to keep it in dry-dock. Admittedly, our sinful impulses are always present (Galatians 5:17), but be ready to confess them and to rely upon God's navigational skills.

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