Inspect but Don’t Introspect

Over the past few months I have been meeting with many people regarding setting aside besetting sins, and growing in the grace and knowledge of God. However, there is one recurring theme: introspection. We are spending so much time looking “inside” ourselves that we are losing our capacity to gaze “outside” ourselves with eyes of faith upon Jesus Christ; the One who sets the captives free.

Justin Taylor has written a timely article for us at CHBC. You can read it in its entirety here. Below I have simply wet your appetite.

Justin Taylor write:

The same apostle who wrote “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor. 13:5) wrote in an earlier letter to the same church “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself” (1 Cor. 4:3).

There is a paradox here. I think John Piper gets the balance right: “Periodic self-examination is needed and wise and biblical. But for the most part mental health is the use of the mind to focus on worthy reality outside ourselves.”

J. C. Ryle:

Cultivate the habit of fixing your eye more simply on Jesus Christ, and try to know more of the fullness there is laid up in Him for every one of His believing people.

Do not be always poring down over the imperfections of your own heart, and dissecting your own besetting sins.

Look up.

Look more to your risen Head in heaven, and try to realize more than you do that the Lord Jesus not only died for you, but that He also rose again, and that He is ever living at God’s right hand as your Priest, your Advocate, and your Almighty Friend.

When the Apostle Peter “walked upon the waters to go to Jesus,” he got on very well as long as his eye was fixed upon his Almighty Master and Savior. But when he looked away to the winds and waves, and reasoned, and considered his own strength, and the weight of his body, he soon began to sink, and cried, “Lord, save me.” No wonder that our gracious Lord, while grasping his hand and delivering him from a watery grave, said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Alas! many of us are very like Peter–we look away from Jesus, and then our hearts faint, and we feel sinking (Mat. 14:28-31).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: