It is important and necessary that we regularly spend time in purposeful self-examination. We need to take the time to examine our rationales, our pretenses, our masquerades, our motives, our justifications, and our reasoning.
Nevertheless, we must also realize that despite how thorough the examination, no man can remove himself from himself sufficiently to appraise the dark forces at work within. And, let us be honest with ourselves: all mankind suffer from some form of inner-darkness. We live in dark times and we live in a society that is gripped by the darkness of evil. As a consequence of living in it, some of it gets inside us.
The sins within thrive in this darkness. Sin feeds upon the darkness as a hungry predator feeds upon its prey. Being in this darkness, we cannot see ourselves as we really are. We believe we are what we are not and believe we are incapable of doing what we quite clever at perpetrating. We need the light of God to reveal the dark forces at work within us. When we see ourselves as revealed by God, our true character is uncovered. Who we are in the real sense comes to the surface.
In His presence, we discover, sometimes to our great astonishment, how far removed from God we really are. The holiness of God's divinity can find every speck of sin in our lives. Nothing in us escapes God and no man can stand in His presence as a saint. He must stand in his true character, as a sinner saved by grace.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available soon.