Thursday, August 10 – 1 Corinthians 11:28-29
But a person must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For the one who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not properly recognize the body.
One of the most important factors in playing a sport well is the ability to examine yourself, recognize your mistakes, and adjust as needed. Many teams watch playbacks of their previous games to find areas of needed improvement. Without this moment of reflection, an athlete will keep making the same mistakes over and over, eventually hurting his or her body and the team.
Self-reflection is also necessary for success in the Christian life. Paul tied this reflection to the Lord’s Supper. To take the Lord’s Supper improperly is to bring the judgment of God on yourself. Paul commented that those in the Corinthian church who took communion without self-reflection were “weak and sick” (v. 30)—unaware of how much or where sin had taken root in their lives. We can’t reflect on Christ as Savior and Lord without acknowledging our brokenness.
The self-reflecting act reminds us of our need for God and His restorative work in our lives. It reminds us we cannot be good in our own power. It helps us see the things we are holding onto that are not from God, whether it is a lie we tell ourselves or a practice that keeps us in bondage to sin when we should be living free.
James 1:23-25 says, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does.” Being a doer of the Word means regularly reflecting on the areas where we have fallen short and need God’s grace. When we approach Him and the Lord’s Supper in this way, we can be sure we receive it rightly.
- When was the last moment you took time for self-reflection?
- What keeps you from taking moments of self-reflection? What cultural things make this hard for us broadly?
- Pray and reflect on the areas you need God’s grace right now.