When’s the last time you had a checkup at the doctor or maybe an annual physical? When we get sick and are seen by a doctor, whether in their office or the emergency room, we are most often asked to follow-up within a number of days or weeks for a checkup to make sure everything is indeed okay! Well, shouldn’t that be the case with our spiritual life as well?
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified.” (NKJV). He was calling for the Corinthians to examine themselves to see if they really were Christians. A spiritual checkup is necessary to ensure that we are growing and maturing in our faith and that we are aware of Christ’s presence and power in our lives. If we fail our physical, or don’t get a good report from a checkup, we know there are issues that must be felt with and we begin to take the proper action. The same should be true with our Christian walk, there should be by-products of our spiritual health.
If we are not taking active steps to draw closer to God, then we will begin to drift further away from Him. We can hear the Word of God and know that changes need to take place in our heart and way of thinking, however, if we don’t put it into practice and apply the principles needed for spiritual health and growth, then we may not pass examination. For example, if the doctor told me I needed to exercise and eat more healthy because I am not physically fit and have developed health concerns due to a lack of these things — then I must put this into practice or else change will not come and my health will grow worse. Just because we know something or have heard it said, doesn’t mean we have applied it. This is why Paul urged them to “examine themselves.”
Be encouraged today, that no matter what spiritual condition you may think you’re in, don’t be afraid to examine yourself. If you don’t like what you find… then change it! Don’t be afraid to take a test that you get to take again. Perfection is not the goal, improvement is. Ask yourself, “Am I producing love, joy, peace, kindness, and self-control? If so, that’s wonderful, if not, then you know where to start. And remember Paul’s words, “Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” This means that we don’t have to do it alone!
I pray, “Father, forgive me of the attitude I have developed by not drawing closer to You. Give me the courage to examine myself the way that I should and to take proper measures in what I find. Thank You for sending Jesus, who has already paid the debt for all my wrong doing. I know that because of Him, I will not fail, but succeed. I want my life to be a light for those in darkness and in need of love and kindness. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.