The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Self-examination is difficult work. Who wants to ponder, or even be reminded of past sins, failures, hateful thoughts—all the many ways we’ve failed to be the person that we know God wants us to be? 

If we’re honest though, we do in fact ponder these things…sometimes constantly. And we expend a great deal of energy and time trying to justify them and hide them from others. 

Self-examination isn’t trying to think of new ways to feel badly about ourselves (most of us probably don’t need anymore practice in that area!). While, God certainly reserves the right to reveal to us how patterns of thought and behavior that we thought innocuous are indeed harmful, self-examination isn’t first of all about expanding the list of known sins, but it’s learning to see ourselves with God’s eyes. In our passage for this Sunday, Psalm 139, David writes:

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
We see only a tiny fraction of the way that we’ve hurt others, only a portion of how we’ve failed to live up to our calling as Christians. But, God sees it all, every last idle thought. In fact, he’s probably had to comfort another of his children because of our hurtful words. (If this Psalm were a musical, it would be here that the foreboding, menacing music would begin!)

But, interestingly, this realization isn’t threatening to David. In fact, he’s overjoyed! He says in v. 17, "How precious to me are your thoughts, God!" How is that possible?

Well, I’m not gonna tell you...until Sunday. See you then. ;)