by Dr. Anthony Pranno
Have you ever taken a personality assessment? Psychologists have created a host of different tools that can test, rate, quantify and pigeonhole your personality, leadership style, temperament and even spiritual gifts.
In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul implores his audience toward honest self-assessment. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith, test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test.”
We should always be careful not to judge another person’s actions and be sensitive when voicing our opinions, however, I think some people are afraid to look inside themselves. Recently, I was talking with a person who began using “racially charged language.” I stopped the conversation and asked him what he thought about the fact that God clearly commands his followers to “let no unwholesome words proceed from your mouth” (Ephesians 4:29). He said, “I don’t think that matters. I was just kidding around.”
I don’t know whether this person is a racist or was just blowing off steam, but I do think our motivations and actions matter to God. We shouldn’t be afraid of some authentic self-discovery. There’s a lot that goes into examining yourself. Regardless, it should become a regular part of our lives. What if there was a simple test – one that you could take in a minute or two – the results of which would indicate whether or not you were a sincere follower of Jesus? Would you take it? Would you need to? Would you pass or fail?
The Bible identifies some clear indicators that a person’s faith is sincere: believing in and obeying the Lord Jesus Christ, being filled with and yielded to the Holy Spirit, embracing and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit… things like love, joy, peace, patience and others.
Too many people shrug their shoulders and never dig deep enough into their own hearts and minds to examine exactly where they stand. Be courageous enough to look inside and see whether or not you are truly “in the faith.”
- Set aside how much money you give or how involved you are in the church.
- Set aside those your past and present good deeds.
- Set aside whether or not you pray occasionally or even read your Bible now and then.
Look deeper. Examine yourself. Have you surrendered your heart to Christ? Have you laid down your sword? Have you knelt at the feet of Jesus and trusted him as Savior and Lord?