Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?
- 2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
The Bible tells us to examine ourselves, and I wholeheartedly agree that we need to do so. We should examine ourselves to see if we have sin, and if so, we should sincerely repent, then move on to living without that sin in our lives.
There is a great difference between examination and condemnation. Examination helps us prove to ourselves that we are in Christ and He is in us, and that in Him we have been set free from sin. Condemnation keeps us mired in the very sin we feel condemned about. It does not deliver us—it traps us! It weakens us and saps all our spiritual strength. We give our energy to feeling condemned rather than living righteously.
There is such a thing as excessive self-examination, and I personally believe it opens the door for much of the unbalance we see today in this area among God’s children. To be overly introspective and continually examining our every move opens a door to Satan. In the past I experienced multiple problems in this area, and I know for a fact that you and I will never be confident in prayer until the problem is dealt with thoroughly and completely.
Examine, but don’t condemn. God has forgiven confessed sin so you can move forward. He isn’t dwelling on it; why should you?
Lord, I ask You to search my heart and expose any sin in my life. I refuse to get trapped in endless introspection and condemnation. Set me free from all sin. Amen.