by Hoyt Smith
Self-examination, or introspection, is an extremely valuable discipline that any wise corporate CEO or military commander will employ to ensure success. The process involves making an honest evaluation of the organization's strengths and weaknesses. For a CEO, this means understanding his company's weaknesses will result in lost competitiveness, loss of profit, or possible bankruptcy. To a military commander, knowing his unit's weaknesses enables him to make the necessary adjustments to prevent his enemy from exploiting his weakness and possibly overrunning his unit.
To a Christian, self-examination is just as important. Although people don't naturally enjoy taking inventory of their personal strengths and weaknesses, it is vital for Christians to do so from time to time. The apostle Paul issues such a challenge to the church in 2 Cor. 13:5 when he says "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--- unless indeed you fail the test?" If we don't recognize our spiritual weaknesses, we can't make plans to grow. Also, keep in mind that Satan knows our weaknesses and seeks to exploit them. Remember when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew chapter 4), our Lord combated Satan with Scripture! What a great example for us. David wrote in Psalm 4:4, "Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still." That's great advice. If you don't already, try to meditate, pray, and reflect tonight when you go to bed. It may be the only "quiet" time many of us may have in our busy day.