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On Introspection

The self can be a perplexing beast. How often do you think, “Why am I feeling this way?” For me this is a regular occurrence. Our hearts don’t automatically tell us why we feel the way we do. Further, Scripture teaches, “The heart is he is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9). Even if our hearts communicate with us, they can and will lie to us.

God knows all of this. He who searches the heart and tests the mind (Jer 17:10) is well acquainted with our ways (Ps 139:3). Nothing is hidden from him. What confuses us does not confuse Him. Further, he is “compassionate and gracious” (Ps 103:8); “he remembers that we are dust” (Ps 103:14).


God has given us a tremendous tool to battle the heart’s dull and deceitful communication habits. That tool is introspection. Over and over again, Scripture commands self-examination: “Let a person examine himself” (1 Cor 11:28); “examine yourselves . . . test yourselves (2 Cor 13:5); “let each one test his own work” (Gal 6:4). David models introspection when he asks, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalm 42:5).


How are you doing with introspection? This week take some to examine your heart—to know why you feel the way you do and to properly discern who you are. Find a quiet and secluded place, where you can concentrate. Ask yourself meaningful questions. Tell God to reveal to you your heart’s secrets and sins. Ask the Holy Spirit to impress upon your heart the Word of God. “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!” (Lam 3:40).


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