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Archive for August 23rd, 2022

Self-Examination

MEDITATION:

Written by Rich Villodas, a contemporary pastor, speaker, and author. This is an excerpt from his book “The Deeply Formed Life.”

For centuries, people have extolled the virtue of self-examination. Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Saint Augustine wrote, “O God, let me know myself; let me know you.” Ice Cube said, “You better check yo self before you wreck yo self.” Like I said: for centuries. One of the most important theological statements of self-awareness and examination comes from Reformed theologian John Calvin. He wrote, “The knowledge of God and that of ourselves are connected. Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God. Without knowledge of God, there is no knowledge of self.” The knowledge of self he speaks of is not identical with twenty-first century psychotherapeutic sensibilities. Calvin has in mind a knowledge of our creatureliness—of our condition of sin. When we know we are caught in sin, the knowledge of God and our need for salvation clarify the connection. I would add, however, that sin is not limited to morality and salvation s it’s typically understood. Sin is a principle of captivity to a power that permeates and contaminates our human reality. Sin is the word Christians use to name not simply our failed acts but also our inner and outer captivity. If we embrace a fuller understanding of the nature of sin, knowledge of self extends beyond our obvious acts of transgression or our insufficiency to save ourselves. It also extends to the limits and failures of living lives marked by wholeness. God in Christ takes on our sin that we may live forgiven, free, and whole. This wholeness extends to every aspect of life…If we are to be faithful to God and live deeply formed lives, the work of self-examination is imperative…David in Psalm 139, did three things effectively that we are invited to follow. He made time for interior examination, he was integrated enough to surrender his inner world to God, and he had the courage to face himself. In short, his life was deep enough to confront busyness and compartmentalization—trouble spots for most of us.

PRAYER:

From the Mozarabic Breviary, a liturgical rite of the Latin church and developed during the Visigoth rule of the Iberian peninsula in the 500s AD.

 O Lord Jesus Christ, by your almighty power you opened the eyes of the blind, and showed yourself to them. Turn our eyes away from worthless things, and lead us to love you sincerely; through your mercy,  O our God, you are blessed, and live and govern all things, now and forever. Amen.

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