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Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. (Psalm 139.23)
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13.5)
God speaks to people through the moral law. If we break these laws and excuse ourselves for doing so, the presence and guidance of God lose their reality in our lives: the freedom and radiance of the Christian life depart. Here are four tests of the moral law by which to measure ourselves— and so obey the biblical commands.
Am I truthful? Are there any conditions under which I will or do tell a lie? Can I be depended on to tell the truth no matter what the cost? Yes or no? Don’t hedge, excuse, explain. Yes or no?
Am I honest? Can I be absolutely trusted in money matters? In my work even when no one is looking? With other people’s reputations? Yes or no? With myself, or do I rationalize and become self-defensive?
Am I pure? In my habits? In my thought life? In my motives? In my relations with the opposite sex? Yes or no?
Am I selfish? In the demands I make on my family, wife, husband, or associates? Am I badly balanced; full of moods, cold today and warm tomorrow? Do I indulge in nerves that spoil both my happiness and the happiness of those around me?
Am I unrestrained in my pleasures, the kind I enjoy without considering the effect they have on my soul? Am I unrestrained in my work, refusing to take reasonable rest and exercise?
Am I unrestrained in small self-indulgences, letting myself become the slave of habits, however harmless they may appear to me?
What am I living for— self, money, place, power? Or are my powers at the disposal of human need, dedicated to the Kingdom of God on earth?
Let us put ourselves before ourselves and look at ourselves. The bravest moment of a man’s life is the moment when he looks at himself objectively without wincing, without complaining. Self-examination which does not result in action is dangerous. What am I going to do about what I see? The action called for is surrender— of ourselves to God.
Excerpt from : Liddell, Eric (2011-12-15). The Disciplines of the Christian Life