Far too ‘healthy’ spiritually
For reading & meditation: Psalms 139:17-24
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (v.23)
We said yesterday that the task of honestly facing ourselves in self-examination is often the hardest thing for us to do. We are all very prone to pass quickly over this point. We are quite happy to hear how God has set the ungodly in slippery places but we are not happy to be invited to take a look at ourselves and uncover the things within us that cause us to go astray. It must be said, however, that two dangers arise whenever the question of self-examination is considered. One is over-emphasis and the other is under-emphasis. Some engage in it too much and become unhealthily introspective, while others fail to look at themselves at all and thus live on the surface. The important thing to remember is this – self-examination should always be carried out in the presence of God. If this is not adhered to, then the exercise can become harmful and counter-productive. I meet many Christians who strongly oppose the idea of self- examination. They say: “the moment you see that you have sinned and then put your sin ‘under the blood’ you are all right. To stop and think about it is an indication that you are not spiritually healthy and that you lack faith.” Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said: “The trouble with most of us is that we are far too ‘healthy’ spiritually.” He meant by that that we are much too glib and much too superficial. Nothing is more characteristic of a true Christian than a willingness to examine himself; not too much, not too little, but in an appropriate and balanced way.