God tells us to examine ourselves, to examine our ways. Those ways we are to examine include every way that we think, perceive, speak, stay silent, respond, act, react, interact, spend our time, spend our money, roll our eyes and all other forms of body language!
If we take the time to look, really look, at ourselves – examine and test our ways – we will know deep in our souls that we need the Lord. I know I do. At all times. In all ways.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. Lamentations 3:40
To tell you the truth, I would much rather have it be God and I together scrutinizing all of my ways – rather than having to be corrected (challenged, convicted, embarrassed) by someone else. Although this has happened several times before in my life, and I know it will keep on happening, too! God uses believers and not-yet-believers to correct His people. I’d just rather have it be God who’s getting all up in my face first! Not because I’m so holy. It’s really because I’m a wimp. God’s correction, challenge and conviction of my ways come only out of His love for me. God has no other agenda than that He wants the best for me, and He wants the purest reflection of Jesus through me. God wants to build me up, even when He has to humble me because of my pride, stubbornness and every wrong behavior (seen or unseen by others) I do. Correction, challenge, conviction – and examination of all my ways – are much easier to take from God, and with God, because He is the One who loves me the very most!
And our God is so good! Because no matter what our ways have been, our God always calls us back to Himself. Our Lord always wants us to return to Him…and stay with Him…and follow His ways very, very closely!
The reality is that we are being scrutinized by those around us – just as we scrutinize others. It is so important and so urgent that we, as followers of Christ, reflect our Lord more purely, beautifully and fully so that all those around us will see and know the love, grace, and truth that our God offers to all people. At all times.
May each of us be courageous enough to invite God into the examination process of all of our ways. May we each take to heart our God’s loving, righteous, stern and tender correction, challenge and conviction for our own behaviors. May each of us, who claim to be followers of Christ, truly follow so that the Body of Christ will look, think, speak and act like the Body of Christ! That many, many people will be drawn to Jesus as Savior and Lord! Oh! What an eternal impact our willingness to undergo God’s examination process can have!