I have a mirror in my bathroom that I look into every morning. I look to see if I forgot anything in my morning preparations to go out into the world. If my beard trim is straight, if I combed my hair, and I smile at myself to see if I brushed my teeth. The purpose of my mirror is to find flaws; I don’t ever remember looking into the mirror and saying or thinking, “Wow, you are one good-looking stud!”
It would be cool if God would give us a special, supernatural mirror that would show us our character flaws when we looked into it, and as a bonus, it would show us each of the sins we have committed in the last 24 hours. Some wouldn’t look into it very often, too depressing.
1 Corinthians 11:28-32 But a man must examine himself. . . . He will receive judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
Self-examination is absolutely essential if we are going to grow in holiness. Over time we all develop blind spots. A blind spot is a sin habit or character flaw that we have gotten so used to that we don’t see it, or at least we don’t see it as a sin or as a problem in our life. Self-examination asks and answers the question, “ who am I?”
My best and most accurate self-examination times take place when I write in my journal. When I write about my behavior, it is easy to step back and see myself from a third-person perspective without the excuses, blaming, and justification. As I regularly practice this basic discipline the things that I repeatedly do become obvious. I confess them to God as sin, and I work out a plan to conquer them.