Examining Ourselves Is Impossible

1 Corinthians 4:1-3 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 

I was doing my morning reading and ran across this and immediately thought, “Wait! Paul doesn’t even examine himself. I mean, really? Then how are you aware when you’re being selfish? How are you aware that you’re being a jerk? How are you aware that your hard-heartedness is getting in the way of your generosity and love for others. Do you not search yourself? Paul?”

I just sat there.

I thought more about it.

I mean we’ve got to know when we’re doing right and wrong, right? We’ve got to know the sin in our life so that we can confess and repent, right? Who doesn’t examine themselves?

Then I read:

1 Corinthians 4:4-5 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the LordTherefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

Then another verse God reminded me of…

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

Thankfully, we are not acquitted by God because when we search ourselves, we wind up miscalculated who we really are. Only God can see the heart of man and rightfully determine our motives and our initiatives. Our views are skewed by our lusts and selfish desires.

This is liberating. To know that when it is revealed we’re being an ass or a jerk face, praise be to God for letting us in on the knowledge.



About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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