These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:11-13
Self-examination is a fundamental Christian discipline. Frequently in the Scriptures we are told to examine ourselves and we cannot grow to spiritual maturity without establishing the habit of looking into the darker corners of our thoughts and actions. We are to take the light of the Scripture and be led by the Spirit in our self examination.
So, how is it with your soul today? Remove the impressions others have, take away “the myth of self” that clouds our thinking, and look into your soul. What is there? Are you growing in love and grace under the Lordship of Christ? Are there some victories that you can rejoice over? Are there some weaknesses that you should be concerned about? Are there dark habits of lust and pride? Both of these inner “demons” take us where we should not go – lust toward immorality and indecency and pride toward an improperly high estimation of ourselves and low estimation of others. Both, also, deny the power of grace and the sufficiency of Christ. Lust says that it must have unlawful things to be happy, that grace and Christ are not enough. Pride says that it does not need the anything but we are sufficient unto ourselves. When combined, pride through lust takes from others what it does not deserve, with little or no concern for the harm caused, to others and even to ourselves.
Pride tempts us to think that we are above temptation, so the Scripture warns us not to presume so. God provides a way out, and let us humbly look for that way out of temptation. In the passage above, the command to “be careful” came before the promise of God’s faithfulness to provide a way out of temptation. Thebest way out of temptation is to examine ourselves first, to “be careful” in our walk, and not put ourselves into temptation in the first place. Christ taught us to pray, “lead us not into temptation,” and the wise Christian looks for the Lord’s leadership in his heart at all times.
Examine, repent, confess, and recommit yourself to God. To examine ourselves is a fundamental Christian discipline, necessary for our spiritual health.
Lord, look into our hearts and reveal us to ourselves, that we might confess and forsake sin and follow after You, Amen.