April 13, 2017 § Leave a comment
We all know that self-examination is the beginning of repentance (TCR 525); and hence reformation and regeneration.
Self-examination is a skill. It is something we get better at the more we practice it. It is a skill that improves as we get older.
When we are young, and first starting to practice self-examination, we most likely only look at our actions. Our actions are easy to see. It is usually easy to determine whether or not our actions are evil, that is, breaking one of the Ten commandments. And since we are not looking deeper into ourselves, it is easy to condemn our action without making ourselves feel like we are an evil person.
The truth of the matter is that we are evil people. Over and over again the Heavenly Doctrines remind us that we are nothing but evil. And guess what, this does not change even when we are angels. All the good and truth we have in us is from the Lord. Our ability to see evil and shun it as a sin is from and by the Lord. It is imperative that we acknowledge this. It humbles us and allows us to open our heart and minds so that the Lord can flow in and do His good and implant His wisdom.
When we read or hear that we are nothing but evil, we do not usually feel that we that evilness. We do not feel like that scum. Nor should we. The hells like us to focus on such teachings and to become depressed and paralyzed by them. The Lord on the other hand, gives us His good and truth is such a way that we feel it to be our own. The Lord wants us to feel good about ourselves. Still, we need to acknowledge the truth, that of ourselves (apart from the Lord) we are nothing but evil and that all the good and truth we see, do, or experience are from Him. This I believe gets easier as we practice self-examination. And it becomes easier with age.