Putting Ourselves to the Test
It’s so easy for us to think that we are good Christians because we tithe, bring a dish to the church picnic, volunteer, donate a coat to the homeless coat drive, sing in the choir and so on. And yes, these things are important to God because they are an expression/ a path of love- of the love that lives in us and the love that went to the cross 2,000 years ago.
But, I find that when I think I’m a “good Christian” and when I put myself to the test, as Paul recommends above, I have to ask myself “Is Christ really shining through me? Am I really choosing the path of love with my fellow man?”
We see in the book of Isaiah that God is disgusted with the Israelites for being two-faced and not treating their fellow Israelites with kindness, but yet, they still brought their sacrifices to God wanting a blessing. And God condemns them for not choosing the path of love.
So, in 2 Corinthians 8:13, Paul is telling us to test ourselves, to really look at ourselves to see if we are living in faith or not. Because, if Jesus is really in us that means we are choosing the path of love and not the path of sin. He is also saying, if we choose the path of sin, then Jesus is not in us, and therefore we are choosing the path of sin.
To give a few examples, living in faith means ‘living rightly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God’ (Micah 6:8); it means living out the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23); it means ‘loving God with all our heart, soul and mind’ (Matthew 22:37); it means ‘loving our neighbor as ourselves’ (Matthew 22:39); and it means living in community with people, making time for relationships.
When we put ourselves to the test, does it show we are living in faith and putting the above examples into practice in our lives? Does it show if Jesus is really living in us, or are we failing in some areas that can use some improvement?