Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5) is not the same thing as brooding about the state of your soul. Man is simply what he is just as every other element in nature. If you simply are what God created you to be, a creature in His image, nobody will ever call you to any account.
“There need be no accounting made” with those who worked at the repair of the temple in Jerusalem “because they deal faithfully” (2 Kings 22:7).
Man began to judge his own state and to discover that he was naked only after he had listened to the serpent in the garden of Eden instead of obeying God. The same danger lies in the self-examination and dissection of one’s soul. The more one is sensitive to sin, the more one will be aware of it—as opposed to one whose heart is hardened toward sin. However, too much self-examination can lead to self-love and selfrighteousness. A thorough self-examination is not even possible, because you cannot be a judge in your own cause. This is an elementary rule of justice.
According to Gödel’s incompleteness theory, no system can explain its own consistency without recourse to concepts that the system itself cannot generate. The criterion upon which you judge
yourself must come not from your own mind, but from outside. But it remains your own mind that decides which outside criterion to adopt. Thus any attempt to judge yourself is futile. Men of different
opinions judge themselves according to various criterions. Hitler was sure he did well to exterminate the Jews. Jesus’ judges were sure that they did well to sentence Him. A sinner sins even in
trying to determine his own sin and to evaluate true repentance. Examine yourself only whether you have faith, as the Scriptures enjoin: whether you believe there is a greater intelligence than your
own who has thought about everything, who shapes and directs your life; then enter into a calm attitude of mind.
The Hebrew word avon means “sin” as well as “punishment.” The very fact that you are a sinner is punishment enough, causing you to miss the inexpressible joys of righteousness. Do not add useless
self-flagellation to your punishment. There is a secret in your sinfulness. Cain, after killing his brother, said Gadol avoni minso, which, literally translated, is, “My sin is great by its being borne” (Genesis 4:13).
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). The sins become white through the greatness of the sin-bearer. Because sin is in itself such a terrible punishment,
Jesus took it upon Himself. It was His joy to do so. To be a sinbearer is His most beautiful crown. By entrusting your sins to Him, you add a jewel to His crown.
Examine yourself only to see if you are in faith, if you believe your sins to be white as snow because they now belong to Jesus, and, with this, enter into peace.