Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. 2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT
Self-examinations can be life-saving.
Women who’ve had breast cancer or who are at high risk due to biological reasons are encouraged to self-examine. Since doctor visits are separated by months—sometimes years, examinations are vitally important and could mean the difference between life and death.
People who’ve had skin cancer are encouraged to perform self-examinations. My cancer was basil cell carcinoma and was a barely noticeable place on the back of my ear. Other than it bleeding when I dried off after taking a shower, I would never have known it was there. Since then, I’ve had a few other places frozen or cut off. So I regularly self-examine. My skin doctor appointments are separated by at least six months. A lot can happen in that time period.
Another self-examination that’s important is in the area of insecurity. Insecurities can occur for various reasons. Perhaps the messages a child heard while they were young were mostly negative. “You can’t do that,” or “You’ll never amount to anything.” Similar messages are often perpetrated by those who heard those same messages when they were growing up.
Messages like this can form an adult who has low self-esteem, is overtly shy, and who may be afraid to set goals or make decisions. Spouses who live with emotionally or physically abusive partners can also face insecurities.
Paul deals with one area we don’t ever have to feel insecure about. He suggests self-examination where it concerns salvation—faith in Christ. But why? I came into this world a sinner. Left to myself, I carried out the effects of that sinful nature in unhealthy attitudes, actions, and words. Without any action on my part to correct it, I would go to my grave the same way and spend eternity apart from a loving God. But I don’t have to.
Jesus Christ paid for the sins of the world, but I must accept what He’s done. When applied to my life, His sacrifice removes my sins, and I’m given His righteousness. This act removes my insecurities.
After a self-examination, I conclude that indeed I’m in the faith and secure in His love. Forgiveness, abundance, joy, power, confidence—and most of all heaven—are all mine.
What do you find when you perform a self-examination?
Prayer: Father, when we examine ourselves, may we find our security in Your unconditional forgiveness.