You Think You Are, But You’re Not
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 Corinthians 13:5
My daughter is away in college now, but when she was at home, I would daily feel compelled to say things that I thought were hilarious. Rarely was she impressed with my sense of humor. Almost daily, she would remind me, “Dad, you think you’re funny but you’re not”. I disagreed. In fact, I found myself hysterical. I’m not objective though. I’m pretty good at identifying humor in others, but when it comes to self-assessment, I’m obviously biased. It’s entirely possible that I’m not funny at all and that I’m simply fooling myself.
Most of us are good at judging others. We know when someone is witty or not. Likewise, we can usually see when someone is making terrible choices. Most of us though, have a blind spot when it comes to self-analysis. Often, we can clearly see the flaws in others while we justify the same self-destructive thoughts and behaviors in ourselves. Many of us are entirely capable of radical self-deception, thinking we’re one thing, when we’re not.
This was Paul’s terrifying warning in today’s passage. In his parting words to the Corinthians, he asked that they test themselves. These were people who considered themselves true Christians. Paul insisted though, that they analyze themselves to see if this was true or not. Is Jesus in you? Is there any evidence of it? If not, then you’ve failed the test. Paul made it very clear that there will be some who believe in God, who think they have faith, who are simply fooling themselves.
In the throes of my addiction, I had to look at my own life and ask a similar question. Can I live like this and still be connected to God? I didn’t think I could lose my faith. I just had to ask if I ever actually had it in the first place. Was there any evidence of God in my life? Or, did I just live for me? If I said I believed in God, but my thoughts and actions never followed, I was fooling myself. I think I’m a Christian, but what if I’m not? At that point, I had to decide. Did I have faith in God? Did I want my life to follow him? Or was I simply going to live my way?
This is a question we all must answer. Do we have faith, or are we simply fooling ourselves? The answer will determine our destiny – in this life and the next.