The Examined Life

We–Christians, believers in Christ, Christ-followers—are to live examined lives. 

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.  (Psalm 139:23–24

Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.   (Lamentations 3:40

We are to ask God to search us. God, of course, knows everything already. But we don’t. I am very, very capable of fooling myself.

When we pray for God to search us, He will show us. 

Pleasing God

Examination isn’t only to learn what we need to confess. When God searches us and shows us, He will also show us what we’re doing well and what we need to strengthen. We are learning to please God.

Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1

Identifying Sin

Examination also shows us areas of sin that we need to confess, repent, and change with His help. 

After we have been saved, saved from the penalty of sin, we still sin, alas. But we are learning how to walk in the newness of life, and being made into the image of Christ.

Until God takes us home when we will be saved from the presence of sin, we will sin. Examination shows us the areas God wants us to confess and work on. 

The result is a more godly life and deeper fellowship with God. What an enormous blessing.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Examine Yourself

Set aside some focused time and give it a try.

Blessings will result.


Father, search me and show me where I sin and what I need to strengthen. Help me be sensitive to anything I think, say or do that does not please You. Help me confess my sins, and, with Your help, eradicate it, substituting thoughts, words, and deeds that please You. Help me understand Your word and Your will for me, and help me make my life glorify You. Thank You that You encourage as well as reprimand. Thank You that You are leading and guiding me. Thank You that You are making me into the image of Your Son. Thank You that You will bring me home. 

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