In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What's an examined life?

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living.

But what does it mean to live an examined life?

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear that question is a beloved passage from Psalm 139:23-24 (NASV):

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

Daily I take some time to come before God and pray this prayer. Time to be still and quiet; time to reflect. Time to let God convict me of areas in my life that need to change.

Sometimes, I have such blind spots that I'm not even able to hear God speak to me in these times. In His goodness, there have been times when God has brought circumstances and people in my life to help me see where I need to change.

Lately I've been thinking on what it means to live an examined life and how that's different from the self absorption that I see prevalent in our culture, and even in the church. I frequently have to remind myself that it's not all about me. Because God is so good, and has done so much for me, and has so many blessing available to me, I want to live the lifestyle that He wants for me. Thus, I spend daily time in self examination. But even in that, I recognize that there is nothing I could ever do that would separate me from His love for me in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39). It's about Him, not me. It's not even about my sin.

What are some things God's shown you about living an examined life?


Inge' said...

You really know how to go straight for the good stuff! It is odd the times that God uses in my life to convict me of things.

Like you, I am aware of how wretched I am in my quiet time. But, He has also brought things to mind when I am driving, at work, on the phone, watching tv.

When you ask God to "search your heart", you need to be ready to see yourself as God sees you. The Holy Spirit will always show you gently how you really are. There have been times when I have been so convicted, I have pulled over to talk to God.

What has been the hardest for me to accept is that I am not the "nice" person I thought I was. I can be cold and stand offish. I have used this demeanor and also anger as a defense mechanism to guard my feelings. If I would just quit for half a second God would gladly step in and take care of things. It's the quitting thing I have trouble with:)

Tony C said...

I have posted several times about how a daily prayer life focused on others helps us keep a clear conscience. Paul speaks of this in his letter to Timothy.

It makes sense that our focus on prayers for others would be hampered if we are burden with our own sin...thus praying for others forces us to do a little self-inventory.

photogr said...

Well I am glad to see that some have time to examine their selves. Lately I have been so busy serving that I am behind schedule, don't know what day it is, forget some on my prayer list, miss appointments, and forget to eat.

And I tought in retirement, I would have more time for myself. Wrong!!!

RCUBEs said...

I don't know why I was thinking of turning that "magnifying glass" on us towards Him, up there! while I was reading just the title alone!
Blessings to you sister Tracy!

jeanne said...

Your post reminds me of the Fred Hammond song, "Give Me A Clean Heart." The lyrics are beautiful.

(Verse 1)
Give me a clean heart
to see you like i should, hey
to walk the path that's right
to do the things you would
give me a clean heart
and i will serve nobody but you

(Verse 2)
give me a clean heart
to lose the double mind
to believe you when you tell me
everything will be just fine
just lay your hands on me lord
and i'll be brand new

(chorus A)
and i am calling out to you
for a strength exchange
i will gladly take your joy for my weakness
give me a clean heart
and i will serve nobody but you

(Verse 3)
give me a clean heart
a better one I pray
to stay on the path you chosen
and to stick with it all the way
give me a clean heart
and i will serve nobody but you

(verse 4)
give me a clean heart
i'm calling now to you
to keep my heart from fainting
this is all i know to do
just lay your hands on me lord
and i will be brand new

(chorus B)
and i am worshiping your great and holy name
i'm determined to have life with no chains
give me a clean heart
and i will serve nobody but you

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