I feel like it has the potential to go either way. It really depends on the heart and attitude of the person. Someone could have a prideful and arrogant heart and someone else could be humble and gracious. To be like Christ, we need to be humble and gracious in all things and when we are, love and truth can be reaped.

In 1 Corinthians 9:3, Paul says, examine my life. That’s a bold and vulnerable statement to make. As believers, we will have many watching us and examining how we live. And being that we are human, those who watch us will also see us when we slip and mess up. To be humble enough to say, “examine me” feels a bit risky at times, am I right? But not to Paul. He was confident in his heart and actions and humble enough to take correction if the need arose. Today, our lives and moments can be quickly plastered on social media, in an email, or spread via phone or text. It’s like we are living in a fishbowl. Anything and everything can be seen by everyone. All our good and all of our bad.

I think it takes a true heart of humility to say, “look and examine me.” As Christ-followers, we want to be humble and always grow in our faith. There are a lot of things in this world that can distract us, be “gray” for us, and be blinding to us. We need to be open and willing to let God use others in our lives to help us see the blind spots we have and we must remember we are living as an example of Jesus for others to see. Our actions can help draw them to Jesus or they can keep them further away.

I remember a very specific time in my life when a dear friend who loves me so much heard me share something that caused her concern. She took a couple of days, prayed, and then asked if we could talk. I was completely oblivious to what she was about to share but had such deep respect and love for her, that I wanted to hear it. She asked me a couple of questions to clarify what I said a few days earlier and then shared her heart of concern over it. Her perspective was right and something I hadn’t even thought of. Her heart to share truth in love and my heart to be willing to listen created a moment that God has used in my lifetime and time again.

From what we know about Paul, I believe he says, “examine me” with a heart of humility and grace. It wasn’t an arrogant dare or threat. He knew he was doing his best and he knew he was in communion with God, yet was humble enough to say, “examine me” and add an extra layer of accountability.

People will examine us. It’s just the way it is. Hopefully, they see a consistently godly life that draws them to Jesus. Will we be perfect? No. But that’s ok if we are willing to have accountability. When that accountability and loving truth is shared with us, I hope we will be humble and willing to hear what they have to say.

Bonnie Nichols
Women’s Ministry Specialist 

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