Examine Yourselves

We understand from God’s word that we are commanded to test ourselves to make sure we are true believers who are closely and continually following Christ our Lord. It follows that we must examine our lives and fruit so that we are assured that we “pass the test.”

Years ago when we began the process of restoring our old farmhouse, there was a faint smell that we attributed to the inevitable aging of a house. We knew our water heater needed replacing, so we decided the first step of renovation would be to remove it from the closet where it was located. However, while removing the water heater, we noticed the smell was no longer faint, but growing in intensity—behind the heater, we discovered a small patch of mold. It appeared to be a simple task: cut out the affected area and replace the section with new sheetrock. Nevertheless, as we continued to cut out the decay, more and more mold came to light—the corrupting rot extended all the way to the outer siding and along the entirety of the back wall! Our task was no longer minor; it was going to be expensive and formidable. If only we had paid more attention to the odor; because, although it was only slightly unpleasant, it was indicating a much deeper problem.

Perhaps it is already becoming apparent that the mold in the wall can be representative of the “rot” of sinful desires that originate within our own selves…the sinful corruption that leads to more serious consequences if left unchecked. Just as my husband and I needed to regard the first faint odor as a sign of a possibly deeper problem; so believers need to heed even the smallest promptings from the Holy Spirit that they are straying, and pay attention to the faintest pricks of conscience. The truth is, it is much easier to address a sin on the front end, before it takes hold and progresses into a besetting sin—a stronghold. The “tearing out” process of overcoming and forsaking the sin will be much quicker and less painful if we address it early on; and we will be able to do that, if we take to heart the command to faithfully and continually examine ourselves.