THE EXAMINATION: Genesis 1:31 says “God saw everything He had made, and it was very good.” Just a few chapters later, God “saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth … and it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth.” (But Noah found grace.) It is nearly impossible to step back and take an honest look at ourselves, and at our own creations … what we make or do with our lives. But honest examination is important.
In the 1960s, a flake psychiatrist named Thomas Harris sold 15 million bottles of snake oil in the form of his book “I’m OK, You’re OK.” His premise or suggestion that anything goes … that we’re all “okay” and can just do whatever seems right to us, and that we should tolerate, condone, and endorse what our own tiny brains concoct, rather than what God says … forms the root of our modern depravity as a society.
The truth is, I’M NOT OKAY and YOU’RE NOT OKAY … at least in terms of our natural man versus the “new creatures” God wants us to become in Christ. And the FIRST STEP TO REDEMPTION is to acknowledge that we’re not okay … that our ways are not His ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts. When there is no predicate acknowledgement of our sinful condition, there can be no repentance. “Grace” is rather pointless if we say that we have no sin and no need for grace. Noah found grace (Genesis 6) because he was “just” … and any “just” human being is a human who recognizes our collective need for redemption from a loving God.
Now, let’s also take this SELF-EXAMINATION concept to a more natural, mundane, everyday-existence kind of level. Here are some examples …
1. We can’t “lose weight and be healthier” unless we can honestly exam ourselves and admit that we are eating and behaving like big fat porkers.
2. We can’t gain learning, knowledge, and wisdom if we go about with the mindset that we have it all figured out, that our “school days” are behind us, and that we’re old dogs with no need of ever learning a new trick.
3. We can’t improve our financial situation unless we first admit, to ourselves, that we have a problem managing money and resources.
… AND SO FORTH.
We are created in God’s image, meaning in part that we are to follow His example. If God stepped back occasionally to examine His creation … to assess whether it was “very good” (Genesis 1) or whether it had become corrupted and required a fresh start (Genesis 6) … then shouldn’t we do likewise?
I believe this is part of being “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4). A renewed mind in Christ is a mind willing to abandon the “I’m okay, you’re okay, anything goes” philosophy of the world … and that embraces CHANGE that allows us to “put on the new man” in Christ.
So here are some questions to ponder this holiday weekend, in between the fireworks and the hot dogs…
1. What do I need to CHANGE about my SPIRITUAL man?
2. What do I need to CHANGE to live a healthier lifestyle?
3. Am I being honest with myself, or am I fooling myself?
Have a great holiday.