Vol.XIV No.IX Pg.1
November 1977

Consider Your Ways

Dan S. Shipley

"Observe thyself as thy greatest enemy would do, so shalt thou be thy greatest friend." (Jeremy Taylor)

Few things would profit us more than an honest and frequent self-examination such as recommended by Mr. Taylor. In fact, the Bible teaches that such introspection is absolutely essential to improvement and repentance. Only as one is willing to give serious thought to his own spiritual condition can he ever face up to his shortcomings. Without acknowledgement of sin there can be no repentance and apart from repentance there can be no salvation (Lk. 13:3). Thus, we see a strong correlation between self-examination and salvation.

Such a correlation can be seen in what Solomon says in Lam. 3:40, "Let us search and try our ways and turn again unto the Lord". The turning that brings one unto the Lord comes as the result of searching and trying our ways. The Psalmist says essentially the same thing: "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies, I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments." (Ps. 119:59, 60). Here, the sense of urgency in his obedience commandment keeping) and his turning are related to his thinking on his ways.

Nowhere are these principles better exemplified than in the story of the prodigal son. The turning point in his life came when he began to think on his ways. He remembered haw good things bad been at home and with his Father. In humility, he reflected on his sins and foolish mistakes. He saw his own unworthiness. Thinking on his ways brought REALIZATION. With the realization came the RESOLVE "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him..." (Lk. 15:18). With the resolve then comes the DOING: "And he arose and came to his father" (v. 20.) Then, the beautiful scene of RECONCILIATION. And it all began when the lost son began to think on his ways; when "he came to himself."

Like this boy, many sinners continue to waste their lives in the land of "do-as-you- please." The Father waits. The road home is still there for all who will come — by first coming to themselves.