The Bible tells us that we should do a self-examination of our lives in order to be sure that we are living as God would have us to live. This is not always an easy or fun thing to do. Perhaps the reason could be that to think about our faults seems to be a negative way of looking at ourselves. Yet, the Bible is clear that we must do this.
Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
What is the best way to do this? There are many self-help books on the market and they all will tell you different ways to become a better person. There are life coaches that will give you tools to use and many of these are helpful to many.
One suggestion about self examination is to be aware that all things we do are seen and known by the Lord. Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Another is to know that we have an example to follow, the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.
With that, a careful study of the life that He led on this earth, would be a good place to begin. Reading and studying the gospel accounts will give us a great insight to the type of life we should lead.
What is our purpose or motivation for doing anything? That is another place that we can look at when we are doing a self-examination. Jesus said quite a few things that we should consider. Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Are my actions glorifying God in some manner? Matthew 7:12 In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Am I treating others in the proper manner? John 13:12-16 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.”
Do I humbly desire to serve others as Jesus did? These verses and many others are a good way to be able to look at our lives and see if we are doing the things that our supreme example would do. May we all strive to live in such a way that our self-examining becomes easier on us. The hardest part is sometimes just getting started. May we all pray for one another to be consistently examining our lives to increase our faithful lifestyle.