“I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:25-26 (NIV)
Nothing is quite as humbling as sincere self-evaluation. As believers, we are to constantly measure our lives by God’s Word but few of us take the time to do so. The psalmist was in a state of grief after giving an honest account of himself to the Lord. So, why would anyone want to do that? Because it expands our understanding, not only of God and His Word, but of ourselves. And a deeper understanding produces deeper, healthier faith.
We understand how this principle works when it comes to our physical health. Routine checkups promote healthy habits and help us catch issues early. But occasionally the doctor discovers a problem area that needs to be dealt with immediately; before more serious concerns develop.
The same is true spiritually. As the Great Physician probes our thoughts and attitudes, we begin to understand how certain sins are affecting our spiritual health. The sorrow we experience isn’t from the evaluation itself but from the sin it reveals. Since sin grieves God’s heart, shouldn’t it grieve us as well?
The remedy is the same as the means of evaluation—God’s Word (v28). Meaningful and lasting life change only comes through the enlightenment and strengthening of Scripture. The Bible helps us to recognize our sin, gives us the grace to overcome it, and provides the power to remain faithful.
That’s why regular evaluation and confession are essential to a healthy Christian life. We must be careful, however, that our confession is accompanied by repentance (vv29-30). Without repentance, we may be sorry for a particular sin but stop short of turning from it. As we make these course corrections over time, God broadens our understanding of His Word and of His character (vv27, 32).
It’s human instinct to avoid honest self-evaluation because it’s painful to see our sin as God sees it. But that’s no different than thinking we’re physically healthy as long as we don’t go to the doctor. So, take a moment to evaluate the last week of your life from God’s perspective. What attitudes and actions need to be confessed and corrected? Read through Psalm 119:25-32 as a personal prayer. If you give an honest account of your ways to the Lord, He’ll strengthen and instruct you through His Word.