Magnifying Glass

The failure of the unexamined Christian life

On trial for his life, Socrates was determined to pursue truth.

“Refusing to accept exile from Athens or a commitment to silence as his penalty, he maintains that public discussion of the great issues of life and virtue is a necessary part of any valuable human life. ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’”/1

“The unexamined life” refers to a life lived by rote under the rules of others without the subject ever examining whether or not he truly wants to live with those routines or rules.”/2

On the surface, Christianity seems the complete opposite of Socrates’ teaching. But we must dig deeper.

The spiritual importance of this concept eclipses the philosophical value because of the eternal consequences involved. Christians must examine this concept thoroughly because it contains great truth.

Faith is indispensable to salvation and it’s obtained through study and personal examination. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17, NKJV). We compare God’s plan with others and make an informed decision.

The mirror of God’s Word stands continually ready (Proverbs 27:19; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Placing our lives up against the standards of Scripture, we must be courageous enough to go deeper than the surface (1 Corinthians 11:28; Galatians 6:4).

Examining our hearts and lives is an evisceration of self as we purge our sinful desires and replace them with God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We place ourselves in his hand (James 4:10) and we’re reborn through salvation (Romans 6:3-4).

Daily, we allow the Word to work as an x-ray in our lives, identifying the diseased segment so surgery can be performed (Hebrews 4:12).

Discipleship is a brutal regimen of daily self-awareness. We can’t grow relaxed because the adversary is waiting (1 Peter 5:8) to pounce on our carelessness.

God’s grace and mercy are ever-present reminders of the cleansing blood of the lamb so we must utilize them (1 John 1:7).

In itself, examination is harmless.

It’s what we do when we find something amiss that presents the challenge. Denial and rationalization will take us anywhere we need to go except heaven. Only self-analysis and righteousness can do that.

Look within and above every day because that’s where we find success.
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1/ http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/2d.htm
2/ http://tinyurl.com/jve23v7

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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One thought on “The failure of the unexamined Christian life

  1. Self-examination is a must on the Lord’s day (1 Corinthians 11:28) as well as every other day of the week.

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