ODJ: spiritual self-examination

August 26, 2014 

READ: Lamentations 3:31-43 

Let us test and examine our ways (v.40).

Yed Anikpo created an app called Heartpoints to help Christians track their spiritual progress. Users of the app can review their daily history to rejoice over victories and to repent of sins. According to Anikpo, “Heartpoints [can] help us capture [what] makes up our walk today so that we can examine it and use [it] to inform . . . our pilgrimage tomorrow.”

Spiritual self-examination is a part of an ongoing relationship with God (1 Corinthians 11:27-28). It shows us our need for forgiveness. Peering into our own souls can also uncover sin that may be the cause of suffering in our lives.

The Israelites needed to engage in some collective soul-searching during a time of intense distress. The atrocities they had endured resulted from ignoring God’s standards. The writer of Lamentations questioned them: “Why should we . . . complain when we are punished for our sins?” (3:39). Instead the writer urged, “Let us test and examine our ways” (v.40). When the Israelites had owned up to their sin and repented, they once again possessed hope for the future (vv.55-57). 

Assessing our spiritual state isn’t simply about confessing our sins to God. It’s about avoiding sin in the first place. Jesus encouraged His disciples to “keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation” (Matthew 26:41). In our quest for holiness, Jesus doesn’t want Satan to be able to sneak up on us.

With or without technology, God is pleased when we look closely at the state of our souls in a healthy way. Seeing and confessing our sin keeps us humble before Him. Best of all, it helps us to understand the great depth of His grace and love for us. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan› Mark 10:35-52

Read 2 Corinthians 13:5 to see what spiritual self-examination can reveal about your faith. Look up Psalm 26:1-3 to see how David boldly invited God to examine his heart.
Today, ask God to reveal areas of hidden sin in your heart. What’s one way you can become more devoted to the practice of spiritual self-examination?