I Corinthians 11:28 (NLT) That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ,[h] you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
Our contemporary culture desires its affairs to be as expedient, as convenient and as streamlined as possible. Yet when it comes to knowing others, and knowing ourselves, expediency breeds superficiality. In effect, people of God, our love for expediency is making us strangers to one another, and strangers to ourselves. Do you see the effects of this way of living?
Socrates once said that an unexamined life is not worth living. This isn’t the time or place to discuss the merits of that statement. But I can say this with certainty: an unexamined life is impossible to live faithfully and well.
One reason for this is that controlling our desires has everything to do with getting to know ourselves better, that is, understanding what people, situations, and substances give us problems, and what responses are effective in countering them. Yes we have to learn how we function, it is imperative to live our best life now!
Family of God, a good way to begin practicing the examined life is to ask yourself what you are feeling before you indulge your cravings. Our cravings are often the result of, and a superficial way of dealing with, some negative emotion. I know this is my reality when I don’t examine myself regularly is great superficiality!
This may be anger, depression, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, or any host of other emotions. Once you have identified the feeling behind the drive, you can more appropriately express or deal with it, instead of trying to ignore it by engaging in some appetite you think will make the feeling disappear.
Point to ponder- Not only is important to examine our lives periodically as when we receive Communion as noted in passage, it is important to regularly examine our lives as we live each day. Don’t be afraid to examine yourself people of God!
When you learn to know yourself and express your feelings appropriately, your appetites can stop being emotional buffers and once again serve the purposes God intended them to serve. Have a marvelous day in the Kingdom!
Pastor James Baker, Jr.