Monday, July 13, 2009

Self Examination


Recently I was thinking about the need for self-examination. My thoughts were provoked by a section from the Samson Society Path. Here is what it says: I develop the daily disciplines of prayer, study and self-examination.

I do fairly well with prayer and study but I feel a lack in the self-examination area. I wondered if there was a list or something like that that would help. I did a Google search and found the results somewhat humorous. There was breast self-exam, testicular self-exam, various cancer self-exams and gynecological self-exam but I had to sift through a lot of results to find anything close to what I was looking for. In the end I was disappointed not to find what I wanted.

What really motivated my quest is knowing how easy it is to be self-deceived. We see it all the time; people fully convinced that what they are doing is okay yet the Bible says something different. Or maybe the law or another source of wisdom contradicts their belief.

My wife’s grandmother used to say, “You can’t put God in a box.” That was usually her way of justifying something she wanted to do or believe when the Bible said something different. It’s easy for any of us to do the same either through ignorance or stubbornness.

So how do we examine ourselves? Honesty would be the starting place but there are so many times when we think something is right because it’s what we think. My perspective, background and experiences color so much of my thinking without me realizing it.

I finally came to the conclusion that this is one of the places where we really need other people in our life. If they are honest, they can tell us a lot about ourselves. It’s another place where God pushes us toward community.

In the Samson Society, a focus of the meeting is a time to tell the truth about yourself. It’s a time where you can speak without interruption, without judgment or without someone giving you tips on the solution to your problem. There is something very healthy about that kind of environment. It’s an opportunity to look inside and learn to tell the truth.

The real strength of the Samson Society is the “Silas” relationships that develop. This is where the real work happens. It’s where another person, in the privacy and security of that relationship is able to help me see things about me that I may be blind to or to give me a different perspective.

As I thought more about self-examination I realized that it will never be complete if it only involves self. I need others who know me to help with that process.

The other night I was reading an article in World Magazine about Mark Sanford, the disgraced governor who had to publically confess his adultery. It quoted a spiritual leader in Sanford’s community who tried through the years to get him into an accountability type relationship. Even though Sanford agreed with the need, it never materialized. Another problem was he rarely made it to church. Now his sin is public knowledge, the future of his 20 year marriage is in doubt, and his four young children will have to live with the consequences of his sin. With the right kind of relationships in his life, he may have avoided this disaster.

Honest examination of our lives both through our own and others eyes will go a long way to keep us out of trouble and to guide us on the right path.

If you are a man, I would recommend you check out the Samson Society. If you are in the Denver area, check out our local chapter. It may provide what is missing in your life. To get an idea of what a meeting is like, click this link.

Philip

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails