Have you ever been concerned about a health issue, looked up your symptoms on the Internet and been horrified as you self-diagnose a rare condition, curable only with invasive or elusive treatments?
Did you also find yourself relieved but equally mortified when a visit to a health professional revealed that you didn’t just fail to be a candidate for the condition you were convinced you had, but were actually perfectly healthy or only had a minor ailment that was easily treatable?
The latter is oftentimes the result of millions of Internet-based self-diagnosis searches every year. According to research by Harvard Medical School, online symptom checkers only have a 34 percent success rate. It’s fair to conclude that self-examination in such circumstances commonly goes awry.
But that’s not to say that we can’t benefit from a little self-assessment every now and then.
Thankfully, when we adopt this method of fixing issues that can arise in our spiritual lives, we have a much better chance of accurately identifying where we’re going wrong and what we can do about it.
As Christians, self-assessment becomes an increasingly important part of our faith as we grow and mature spiritually. Just as periodic checkups with doctors and dentists help us take care of our physical health, regular reflection on how we’re performing in accordance with our faith and what steps we need to take to remedy any areas of weakness helps us become stronger spiritually. It also enables us to tackle problems before they become out of control.
God encourages us to look inward in order to identify areas of weakness so that we can address them.
Here are eight Bible verses which emphasise the importance of examining ourselves.
2 Corinthians 13:5 — “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
Galatians 5:22-23 — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
James 1:22-24 — “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
Romans 12:2 — “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
1 Corinthians 11:28-29 — “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ, eat and drink judgment on themselves.”
Lamentations 3:40 — “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”
Psalm 119:59-60 — “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.”
Matthew 7:3-5 — “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”