I must always give credit where credit is due and what I am about to share with you I have borrowed heavily, with permission, froma sermon my pastor in Hendersonville NC gave a few weeks ago. I thought this self-evaluation could give all of us a good tool for self-examination, contemplation and prayer during Lent. Most of us are very familiar with the Paul’s letter to the Corinthians about Love.
Love is patient, love is kind.It is not jealous, it is not pompous,It is not inflated, it is not rude,it does not seek its own interests,it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,it does not rejoice over wrongdoingbut rejoices with the truth.It bears all things, believes all things,hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Because Jesus Himself is love and since Paul is describing love it makes for an interesting exercise to replace the word “love” with the name of JESUS. Reading these verses in this manner helps us to see the loving attributes of Jesus.
JESUS is patient, JESUS is kind.JESUS is not jealous, JESUS is not pompous,JESUS is not inflated, JESUS is not rude,JESUS does not seek its own interests,JESUS is not quick-tempered, JESUS does not brood over injury,JESUS does not rejoice over wrongdoingbut rejoices with the truth.JESUS bears all things, believes all things,hopes all things, endures all things.JESUS never fails
Now comes the hard part. You have two choices. Before continuing to read, CLICK HERE to print out an important handout for this exercise.Using the handout, print your name in all of the blank spaces. Most likelyyou may feel uneasy reading some of these statements with your name in them. You might realize that the statement does not describe you. Now that you haveinserted your name on each line go back and place a check mark on each box where you see one of your short comings. Sadly some of us may end up with many check marks. Next, pray over this list and ask God to reveal just one area for you to concentrate on improving during Lent. God calls all of us to a lifetime of progressive and continuous conversion. Each time you feel like you have improved on the one of these are as simply move on to the next one. Remember this is a life-long process.
- _______ is patient
- _______ is kind
- _______ is not jealous
- _______ is not pompous
- _______ is not inflated
- _______ is not rude
- _______ does not seek his/her own interests
- _______ is not quick-tempered
- _______ does not brood over injury
- _______ does not rejoice over wrong-doing
I have written extensivly in previous 4thdayletters on the importance of true self examination. All too often we wear false masks due to our pride and shame and we find it difficult to admit our own faults and shortcomings. Let me be crystal clear, we are all sinners! All of us are works in progress. Don’t be ashamed to admit your weaknesses. Admitting your weaknesses is the first step to overcoming them. Christ is love and when we sin we impede our ability to fully experience Christ’s love. When we are not fully experiencing His love for us becasue of our sinful habits, we fail to fully reflect His love to others as well. Lent is a time for us todraw close in His love. Once you have identified the area of weakness God is calling you to work on, be bold and share that with another Christian who can hold you accountable. Then when Easter week arrives we will see His love fully demonstrated on the cross on Good Friday and we will join in the celebration of our risen Lord on Easter Sunday.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for revealing your true love to me in the person of Jesus my Lord and savior. Please send your Holy Spirit to guide and enlighten me as to the areas of my life where I fall short. Help me to commit myself to working one of these areas of my life. I know that by relying on you that you can bring about the needed changes that you desire to see in me. You are the potter I am the clay, mold and fashion me Lord. Amen.