There are forms of self-examination that are morbidly introspective. We can meditate so much on our sins and short-comings that we begin to doubt the objective union we have with Christ. We may kneel for confession with tremendous passion, but when we are called to rise for the absolution, we are tempted to stay down and not receive the forgiveness and grace God gives us in Christ Jesus. Our evangelical culture has done a disservice in this area and the result has been a multitude of godly saints growing up with tremendous uncertainty and frustration in their walk with God.
But let us remember that there is a healthy form of self-examination. We are to genuinely look to see if there is sin in us. Sincere repentance is seen in those who examine themselves and allow God to uncover both our mistakes and our sins. Healthy self-examination is quick to kneel before God, to see sins for what they are—opposition to the laws of God—but then to not dwell in them perpetually, lest we forget the goodness of God towards His children.
Today, as we kneel to confess our sins and exam ourselves, let us not be tempted to remain kneeling, but let us arise to receive the Lord’s forgiveness and delight in His fatherly care.