It’s no secret that men don’t ask questions at Dr. Appointments. There’s even a nation add campaign to get men to ask basic questions regarding their health when they visit the Doctor. Truth be told, I fall into the same category. It’s probably because things in the Dr.’s office can become easily embarrassing. Like when they tell you how much of your clothes your supposed to take off to put the gown on… Suddenly when the nurse leaves you forget how much she said. Or they don’t tell you to have a seat on the table, so you end up sitting in the chair with your little paper gown on while your back sticks to the chair. Or you do end up sitting on the table only to get up and take half the role of paper with you as it sticks to your nervously sweaty thighs.
I had an opportunity to work at a hospital in college, but in order to get the job I had to pass a drug test, which meant I had to give a urine sample. I had given urine samples before but never for a drug test, so I wasn’t sure how much urine I needed to give. I figured the nurse would tell me… The nurse came in, handed me a cup, which seemed to be larger than normal and said, “you know the drill.” I remember thinking, No, no I don’t know the drill, but I did ask, “how much do you need.” She said, “fill it to the line,” but unfortunately I heard, “fill it, you’ll be fine…” It’s no wonder she said,”Woe! Overachiever!” when she walked back in the room.
As Paul closes his letter to the Corinthians you can tell that he’s been a little frustrated. He’s been attacked, discredited, challenged, and scrutinized at every turn. Here in his final words to the Christians in Corinth, Paul pushes back. Now, you could say that Paul has been pushing back for a while in his letter, which is true, but here he’s basically warning them that things could get ugly when he visits, especially if people haven’t changed or turned from their sin. I couldn’t help but think as I read, Boy, this sounds similar to when Christ returns. I’m pretty sure Paul wasn’t trying to take God place in the judgement of others, but he does share a compelling picture of the lens we will all be under upon Christ’s return.
One of the places we see Paul pushing back is in verse 5 when he calls the Corinthians to “examine and test themselves.” Basically Paul is saying, hey, you’ve been pushing on me and scrutinizing me, what about you?
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT) 5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever examined yourself to see if your faith is genuine? It’s necessary at times for every believer to stop and give themselves a spiritual checkup.
10 Questions for a Six Month Checkup
Dean and Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary, Chuck Lawless, has a great set of questions we should be asking ourselves every six months:
- Are you reading the Bible daily?
- Are you praying daily?
- How often have you shared the gospel this year?
- Are you faithfully fighting sin in your life?
- What scriptures have you memorized this year?
- Are you serving faithfully in a local church?
- Are you exhibiting the work of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-23)?
- Who is walking more with God because of your influence this year?
- What steps have you taken to spread the gospel to the nations?
- How would your family assess you as a family member and a believer this year?
This is a great place to start. Put it on your calendar. Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves.