2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
Ew, I hate tests. Those were never my favorite days in school, test days. The worst though were the AP exam and the SAT. I would definitely not want to take those over again. I am so glad I am over tests; it is so nice to not have to face them anymore. And I was just starting to relish in this fact – that I don’t have to take tests anymore – when I came across this horrible passage in 2 Corinthians 13. Okay, it’s not really horrible – just challenging. Let’s break it down.
Paul says here to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith; “test yourselves”, he says. (At least it is a take home exam. Those were always a little easier.) What does that really look like, examining ourselves? I think it means to take a good, honest look on the inside. We so easily look at what is coming out of our lives and try to fix those things. But those are just symptoms of what is really going on inside. For example, a really angry person might be dealing with a hurt inside. A depressed person might be unsure of their identity. It could be a number of things really. We’ve got to take a good look on the inside.
That examination starts by realizing that Christ Jesus is in us, Paul says. Unless of course He isn’t in which you get an F on the test. If you are going to call yourself a Christian, Christ in you is probably a good prerequisite. And if Christ is in you, does your life show that He is in you? These are the questions on the test. Start digging around on the inside and see what is in there. Are you holding onto unforgiveness? Is there bitterness hanging out? Is there past hurt in there stealing all your joy? Put these things to the test. Make them own up to what’s really going on IN you. It might be the hardest test you ever take, but it will be the most beneficial one too.