But the one who examines me is the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:4b NASB).
Each one of us should live our lives with this truth dominating our minds.
For we are subject to examination every day of our lives. Others judge us constantly. Sometimes they praise us; sometimes they criticise us. There could be elements of truth in both.
But Paul is not satisfied with the approval of men not is he discouraged when they find fault. He says that even when he examines himself and finds nothing against himself, he is still not going to rely on it.
The reason is that he is conscious of the fact that it is the Lord who examines him.
See, God rewards, but not before he examines. Each of us is always under his watchful eye. We judge by what we see. Our judgements are often based on outward appearances.
But Paul refuses to judge himself because he is conscious of the fact that motives of men’s hearts God will disclose. And he will bring things hidden in darkness to light.
So there are two things we can do. Like Paul let us not try to judge anything before the proper time. Secondly, let us ask God to examine us and reveal to us our wrong motives in the good things we do–be it preaching, singing, helping others, or giving money to the Lord’s work.
Such an attitude will help us to get out of complacency–the feeling of satisfaction at everything we were able to do.
It will also help us to be more Christ-like. How is that going to happen? See, when you are in earnest, the Spirit of God will reveal where your motives are not in line with God’s will. You need his grace in abundance to repent and fall in line with God.
The process is painful, humbling and also one which builds you up. In that slow progress you become more Christ-like.
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