Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
2 Corinthians 13:5

When was the last time you took a test?

A typical test will always aim to show you how far you’ve come in terms of your knowledge, expertise, and experience. It reveals something that you have or maybe something that you know, and quite possibly, something personal about the one taking the test.

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he concludes with some sobering remarks and a question that we all truly should ask ourselves at one point or another in our faith journey:

  1. He first commands, “examine yourselves

The word entails something of a personal attempt, a self-induced endeavor, a purpose of ascertaining a thing whether to be true or not. Paul then follows it with the desired result, “whether you are in the faith” or not.

It is possible to think yourself to be a Christian but not actually being one. You must be willing to see whether you share in the Christian faith, the belief and convictions in the truths that Jesus preached and taught in accordance to the bible.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
Romans 12:3

This first phase of examining is definitely deeply personal and requires us to check ourselves when everything else is set aside and when there is no one looking—who are we really? This tackles the issue of the Christian’s true identity.

  1. He then asserts, “test yourselves

This second phase is to test or in other words, to prove or recognize something as genuine and deemed worthy. Testing yourself has to do much with how your faith translates into your behavior, attitude, and action.

It requires a realization that if indeed you have examined your faith personally, then you should know that Jesus Christ is indeed in you. This is absolutely life altering and will in fact show in the Christian’s life. One way to test yourself is to see whether you exhibit the fruit of any disciple of Jesus and whether you are actually more Christ-like than before.

Lamentations 3:40 exhorts us to, “examine our ways and test them”, and after realizing that we fall short of the standards of a holy God, it then encourages us to “return to the LORD.” Even when we realize that we are not all who say we are and no matter how our actions fail, we can in fact return to the Lord.

Pray this prayer today with Psalm 139:23-24 as your guide:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”