We all have buttons. When those buttons are pushed it’s like we’ve been turned on. We might sit quietly through a conversation and then someone will bring up something that stirs us and we are all of a sudden engaged in the conversation in a way we weren’t previously. It’s always a good idea to take time to examine ourselves and actually spend some time thinking about what those subjects are. Sometimes the things that excite us the most need to be exposed to the light and reconsidered. Actually, exposed to the light, is the root idea of “examine.” 2 Corinthians 13:5. Paul tells the Galatians “But let each one examine his own work…” Galatians 6:4. He tells the Thessalonians, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…” 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

Some believers come to life when we discuss Genesis chapters 1 and 2 about the creation of the universe and man. It gets them excited. Others get excited about issues such as abortion, pornography, home schooling, ecology, women’s rights, economic justice, racial justice, serving and caring for the poor, marriage and the family, and many other worthwhile subjects. Unfortunately I’ve know Christians who focus all their energies on unworthy causes such as certain styles of worship, or particular expressions of faith, or even specific bible translations. There are worthwhile causes that fit the life instructions in the bible and then there are what I believe are unworthy and divisive causes that bring down the church rather than building it up.

Particular causes that are true concerns of Christ can inspire us in our lives and focus our attention on what God wants us to do with our lives. Christians who have been inspired by these causes have changed the world; slavery was abolished, trade unions begun, prisons transformed, child labor laws enforced, and the sick healed, the poor fed, and the list could go on. But without exception, every one of those reformers had a central passion that made it more than just social reform. It was the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The lived it, they talked about it, they preached it; the revealed it in every aspect of their lives. It doesn’t matter what you are; homemaker, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief! You might be a plumber, a chemist, a salesman, a ditch digger, or a chicken on the street corner advertising for a fast food restaurant! The Gospel should turn you on in how you live your life. Paul tells the Corinthians, to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

“Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28