How do you feel about inspections? Do you appreciate their positive value?
I have come to realize they are a part of life. In every city in America you have to get your car inspected each year to make sure your vehicle will meet safety and emission standards – the place I go to advertises 45 components they examine before they’ll give me a new sticker that says my car is authorized to be on the road.
My dad told me about the consistent inspections in the U.S. military. Can you make your bed every day and take care of your uniform, grooming, appearance, and your foot locker with all of your belongings? Weapons and barracks are also on the list. Then comes the dreaded day when all the troops are inspected in full dress uniforms. They stand at attention while the base commander or some visiting General looks for loose threads, smudges, wrinkles, even a slightly sloppy stance – and an excuse to assert his authority and bust the soldier and maybe even his or her whole platoon.
Some colleges and universities have dorm inspections. When new students check in during fall orientation they go inch by inch through their room with a resident assistant to look for stuff that may not work (cold water in the sink), be worn or broken (a cracked drawer in the dresser), or missing (i.e., a shower curtain). They’ll do a similar review at the end of the year. One women’s college in Massachusetts used to have white glove inspections – I heard they gave up on them at a nearby men’s college. The gals worried for weeks, claimed it was unfair, and argued the penalties were too harsh. What else would you expect from normal college students? But their mothers were generally thrilled their daughters were being held to such lofty standards.
Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-5.
While inspections may be aggravating at times, and sometimes a nuisance, we have to admit that they serve a noble purpose. Most of the time an inspection is for our good. The Bible certainly affirms that is the case regarding the inspection of our lives by Jesus. In the New Testament book of 1st Corinthians, for example, the apostle Paul expressed his gratitude in chapter 4:1-5 that his “inspector” is the Lord, not other people. They don’t see any or all of who we are, what happens to us, and the heart motives we embody. They make mistakes. But Jesus’ review and oversight is spot-on, his analysis is perfect, and his guardianship of our soul is always redemptive-minded.
Jesus knows every strength and weakness we have. He recognizes our Achilles’ heel and general susceptibility to temptation. He sees every sin blemish we have. He is aware of every wrinkle that is out of sync with His will for our lives. His purpose though, is not merely to point out our iniquity, find fault with us, and tell us to “pick it up…improve your performance.” He desires to come alongside each of us, forgive us, strengthen us, and give us courage to keep moving forward as He draws us to Himself. His will and efforts are aimed at our overall flourishing.
In what ways does Jesus’ careful oversight of your soul benefit you? Consider the reality of 1 Peter 2:25. We should be glad Jesus is watching over our well being. Scripture teaches He purchased our salvation at great personal cost and offers it to us as a gift. The Holy Spirit fills and empowers us to become like Jesus as we practice our faith journey in order to run and finish our race and go to be with Him forever. Think theologically. Jesus is our life-inspector.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz