Socrates taught that the unexamined life is not worth living and Aquinas later picked this theme up when he said that we should contemplate our lives and share the fruit of that contemplation with others.
I’ve noticed lately that I tend to only really contemplate my life when things come up that make me question whether my actions were based on erroneous beliefs or twisted heart motives. However, I don’t think that’s what Socrates or Aquinas were talking about when they told people that we should be examining ourselves. How much embarrassment could be easily avoided by merely taking the time to think over our day to judge our motives and actions even when nothing disturbing has taken place to force examination.
This morning I had a friend point out to me that while I was in a relationship I was rarely sarcastic and took things more seriously, but after the relationship was over I became very sarcastic and spent more time joking about things than being serious. I hadn’t noticed this change within my self and was totally caught off guard to have my increased sarcasm pointed out to me. Even now I am still hesitant to really sit down and examine my week and the motives behind my actions because I am fairly confident I’ll find numerous bad heart attitudes and parts of my life that need changing. How patient God is with fools like myself! Of course I must examine my heart and watch my ways lest I should be overcome by greater faults than lack of seriousness and overdoing sarcastic humor.
I tip my hat to everyone who goes home and with a sober mind thinks over their actions throughout their day even when nothing happened during the day that would disturb them enough to force them to examine themselves. Would David have killed Uriah if he had really taken the time to sit down and ponder his actions and motives? What great trouble we can find ourselves in when we’re acting without questioning the motives behind our actions! May God give His people the grace and self-control to sobermindedly examine themselves daily.