“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
It is obvious from the above scripture that the onus of probing and searching ourselves lies with us. Although it admonishes us to examine ourselves in relation to our walk and relationship with the Lord Jesus, self-examination, on a broader scale, applies to other areas of our lives as well. It was Socrates who said, “an unexamined life is not worth living”. Call it whatever you wish to call it; self-examination, self-evaluation, stock taking or self-audit, the truth is, no man ever makes progress in life without a habit of periodically evaluating his life. Highly successful people do this as often as possible either daily, weekly, monthly or yearly as the case may be.Even companies and organizations know the importance of this hence they hold periodic meetings and carry out audits to review progress and ascertain the health or otherwise of their firms.
When you fail to examine or evaluate your life/activities, even nature and circumstances have a way of compelling you to. Some have been forced to re-examine their diets and eating habits after some bouts of health challenges. There are also those who were offered the opportunity to re-examine their activities within the “comfort” of police cells. Activities they never spared a thought about until it landed them behind bars. It reminds me of the case of the prodigal son in Luke 16 who at a point in his life, the Bible said, "came to himself" and did some thorough evaluation of his life. His decision at that point was the beginning of his restoration. Thanks to the consequences of his wayward and promiscuous lifestyle or else he would have continued headlong in them to his eternal destruction. Friends, there comes a time (or times) in a man’s life when he needs to be alone and reflect on his life and activities. Such times are what I call personal checkpoints. If you don't have or observe them, you are done for. Do this regularly; don’t wait until crisis forces you to do it. It will help you plot a graph of your life and measure your progress. Before you start pointing fingers at imaginary enemies as being responsible for your stunted growth, do a self-examination first to be sure yours case is not self-inflicted. Most times we (our habits and activities) are our greatest enemies.
Apart from helping you know your bearing per time, self-evaluation is the first step to personal development. Even failure could be a blessing if we would re-evaluate and take stock. Whenever you sincerely engage in this, you tell yourself some home truths about your life vis-à-vis the issue under review- be it spiritual, financial, marital, business, academic etc. It helps you come to terms with your strength and weaknesses. In other words, self-examination helps you carry out a personal SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis. Some far reaching personal decisions are often taken during such exercise. Doing this also helps you pray effectively and intelligently about the issue. The often you do this, the greater your chances for progress and development.
What are your goals this year? How often do you evaluate your life and activities in relation to these goals? If a graph of your activities so far this year is plotted, will it show movement towards or away from these goals? Do you have checkpoints: pointers that alert you whenever you are drifting off your plan for achieving your goals? If you do a self-audit of your life, it may stun you to discover that you have not really made progress towards your goals this year, your tight schedule of activities notwithstanding.
What kind of relationship and associations do you keep? How healthy are they? If “an unexamined life”, according to Socrates, “is not worth living”, I dare say, an unexamined relationship is as meaningless and purposeless as an unexamined life. Don’t let crisis force you to have a rethink on that relationship, 'cos the experience may leave a sour taste in your mouth. Be wise!
How is your relationship with God? Take an audit of your work and walk with HIM. Or are you so busy that you don’t find time out to do some spiritual stock taking? Are there worrisome signs and signals that suggest that all may not be well with you spiritually? Will I be right in saying there was a time you prayed more, studied more, evangelized more and love more than you do now? The Lord Jesus told us in Revelation 2:5 to “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent”. But to do this, calls for self-examination or else we won’t know from when we fell. Do it now! The Bible says if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. Let’s not fool ourselves; if there wasn’t a possibility of derailing, there wouldn’t have been any need for the call to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Selah!
Thanks for your time and pls, remember to drop your comments.