The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The examined life

If you are at all prone to doing some introspection, you have likely been challenged by your friends telling you that you spend too much time thinking about your life. “Quit that navel-gazing!” declare your friends. Note this observation by Socrates:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

You can live your life without self-reflection; yet it is a trait of our humanity that we do have the capacity for reflecting on our lives, our dreams, our choices, our behaviors, our beliefs and the meaning and purpose of our lives. The Psalmist went beyond self-examination and invited the Divine to also examine his life:

Test me, LORD, and try me,
   examine my heart and my mind;
for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
   and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.  Psalm 26:2-3

To think of God reviewing our lives can strike holy terror in our hearts or it can be a moment of great comfort. If you view God as a tyrant you may indeed be terrified to think of God examining your life, however, if you view God as boundless mercy then you can rest in the assurance that forgiveness will be granted to you as you acknowledge before God what God already knows about you. – Ron Friesen

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