Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Proverbs 27:19 commentary; examine your SELF

19 ¶ As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

Examine your heart as you would examine your face in a mirror or, as this verse suggests, in your reflection in water.

Christians are told;

2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

To examine and to prove are synonyms as in the following verse. The Bible defines its own words through parallel phrasing among other things.

Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

Your heart, the Bible says, is desperately wicked.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Do you have any idea what it means to be desperately wicked? The human heart wants to sin against God so badly that it is desperate to do it. You know, like when a nightclub is on fire and people are so panicked and desperate that should someone come in to try to help them the jumbled mess of terrified, desperate people will grab the good Samaritan and keep him from escaping the fire, as well. It’s happened several times in history.

Examine your heart. Face what you really are. You have no trouble believing that an animal inherited its instincts from its first ancestor but can’t believe that mankind inherited the sin nature from Adam, probably our only instinct as a human baby has to be taught almost everything else but particularly how to be good. Many of us have a hard time facing the truth about ourselves and our need of a Saviour. We think of ourselves as pretty good people, not as bad as some, so why wouldn’t a just God give us a pass? But we’re not being compared to other people. Our comparison is Christ and He was perfect. Are you perfect, without sin?

You’ve told lies. That makes you a liar. You’ve taken things; time from people, money from an employer who was paying you but not to do what you were doing, material objects from others or work that didn’t belong to you. That makes you a thief. You haven’t forgiven when God commanded it and in spite of the fact that He forgave you. You talk about the confusing things in the Bible but you won’t even obey the most clear cut standard and precept of God.

We Christians need to examine our hearts like a woman examines her face in one of those magnifying mirrors when she puts on makeup. Then we need to throw ourselves into God’s word to be cleansed, asking forgiveness and mercy, and seeking Him with our whole heart. Why did you talk about that person at dinner? Were you really “concerned?” Why did you hesitate at the newsstand? Was it really disgust you felt at the nearly naked girl in the bikini, or something else? Why do you covet things you don’t have and don’t need? Why do you love violence, even the “clean” violence of sports and movies? Why are you working where you are working? Living in the house you are living in? Driving the car you drive? Wearing the clothes you’re wearing…or almost wearing?

I imagine if you dig behind the façade of modern life you will find sin there and a wordly attitude, hungering for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15,16) and the things you want are pleasant to the eyes, something tasty, and maybe even give you a leg up on your neighbors, your family, or your friends (Genesis 3:6).

Maybe if you examined your heart like you do your face in the mirror you’d realize you need more of Christ and less of your SELF.

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