There is a stark difference between King David of Ancient Israel, and Sampson. Both allowed sins to creep into their lives. Both were headed for ruin. However, only Sampson’s life fell into ruin. That’s because there was willful and unconfessed sin in Sampson’s life. There was also willful and unconfessed sin in David’s life, but he heeded to the urging and prodding of the Holy Spirit to confess those sins, and no longer hid them. For instance, David had a history of lying that led to the murder of seventy priests. He lusted over Bathsheba and “knew her” even though she was married. After committing adultery, he conspired to have her husband murdered. Those are among the sins that headed David’s life to certain ruin. But thankfully, he repented and confessed and survived.
Once David had turned his life around he made it his mission in life to live a godly life from that point on. As a prolific songwriter, he penned in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.” David wanted his life to be all that it could be and meet the fullest potential God had planned for it. If that was going to happen, David couldn’t let anything in his life hinder or harm the growth of God’s plan. Nor did he want to invite into his life anything that was going to discredit or disqualify him from what God had called him to be.
David evaluated his life initially and confessed to the adultery and murder. He got his heart and life cleansed as God promises to do in 1st John 1:9. But David knew he had the propensity to sin, as do all of us (1st John 1:8). So I believe from that point on David reevaluated his life rather frequently and not allow too much time to pass whereby sins could invade and hide in his life. No, I believe he uttered the sentiment of Psalm 139:23-24 quite often. Because in Psalm 51:3, we see that David experienced a tender heart while the Holy Spirit was working with him as he stated, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” David did not want to carry the weight of the Holy Spirit’s convicting power any more than he needed to, so the only way to NOT have his sin front and center is to deal with it immediately.
We all should reevaluate our lives, but not only as it relates to sin, but also as it relates to where things stand with every piece of your life with respect to how you believe God would have it. Reevaluate your own life in general, your marriage, your family as a whole, your children, your job, your finances, and your extracurricular activities. If there are issues in any one of these aforementioned areas, it could upset the entire applecart. Consider if you have stress in one area of your life because it’s far beyond what God would have. That will in turn affect other areas of your life as you will bring that stress with you, and that could lead you to have negative thoughts and attitudes of discontentment and foster a highly critical spirit in you. If your “whole life” is a mess, I contend that it’s probably not so. It’s just that a “big problem” usually has a small root cause that can be found and dealt with properly. We already saw David reevaluate his life for sin, as an example for us. Let’s look at some of the other possibilities in that list.
MARRIAGE: Is your marriage honoring God? Maybe that’s the first place to look and the best place to start. Do you even believe your marriage should honor God? Doubtless your marriage has some strong areas and other areas that are weak. Christ is the Bridegroom and we, the Church, are His Bride. In Revelation Chapters two and three, we see Christ commending the churches for what they were doing well, and in all but one, He told them what was negatively affecting the relationship. These were things that either the churches had been doing well at one time but abandoned, or in other cases, there were issues that had crept in as a result of not being vigilant and watchful for things that could come in and harm the relationship. But once Christ evaluated the churches, He was careful to commend before He criticized, so we shouldn’t be afraid to be critical of the wrong that we find in the relationship, just be ready to accept criticism that is rightfully deserved…because it’s probably not just your spouse’s fault things in the marriage aren’t where they should be!!!
CHILDREN: Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The word admonish means to caution, advise, or counsel AGAINST something, and to reprove and scold, but in a manner that is mild and shows good will toward the person. The Bible does say that a gentle word turns away wrath in Proverbs 15:1. So are you raising your children in a authoritarian way? Are you on them for every little thing as if it’s the worst thing they could ever do? Are you angry toward them all the time? Are you on the other end of the spectrum, and you are entirely permissive and very rarely correct, or scold. God the Father is authoritative in parenting us. He tells us what we need to know (doctrine), and He tells us what we’ve done wrong (reproof), then tells us how to do right (correction), and finally how to stay on the right track (instruction in righteousness), yet we can boldly approach God with our petitions (Hebrews 4:16). God doesn’t force us to do anything, but He also isn’t passively sitting back allowing His children to destroy themselves. So reevaluate how you are as a parent against the Standard.
JOBS: The most honest question one could ask here is, Am I here doing what it is that I believe God wants me doing? You have to ask that question apart from any limitations you may have. For instance, you may be a cashier, and have been one for many years, but have always felt like you were called to be a teacher (or substitute anything as it relates to you personally). If you truly feel in your heart that you should be doing such-and-such, but are doing anything but that, take time to reevaluate that. If you take it to God in prayer and truly believe He would have you do whatever it is that you are not currently doing, let God deal with the consequences and the logisitics. When it comes to sanctification, “Faithful is He that called you, who also will do it” (1st Thessalonians 5:24). So why not extend that and believe that if God has called you to some vocation or career, that He won’t see you through to the end and get you there. In any case, no matter whether you are doing what God actually called you to do or not, Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us to do it with all our might and to the best of our ability while we are alive and still can. But it’s worth reevaluating your job/career.
MONEY: Reevaluate your attitudes toward money. Have they changed over the years for the better or the worse? Are you more generous, or have you become selfish? Are you able to control your money, or is money controlling you? Do you have debt? Are you working to pay down your debt or do you keep adding to it? Is money a stressor in your life, marriage, and family? Improper approaches toward money, riches, and wealth will lead to problems in many aspects of your life (1st Timothy 6:9-10). Also, debt will put you into bondage and control you (Proverbs 22:7). Issues related to money are one of the top reasons spouses argue and seek counseling. My advice is to get this in order ASAP if it’s not where it should be. If there are problems in any part of your life, it may stem from this aspect.
MISCELLANEOUS: Let’s consider television and radio. Is anything we are watching or listening to questionable? Psalm 101:3 states, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” If we were to hold our viewing and listening habits to God’s Holy standards, there is little room for many of the things we watch or listen to. And being involved in questionable things will only lessen your convictions over time and you will soon be allowing into your homes things that are more questionable. It’s a slippery slope. How about the use of the computer/cell phone for social media purposes? Romans 6:12-13 remind us to NOT allow sin to control us and therefore give in to lusts. Neither should we use any part of our redeemed body for sinful things. So do you use the computer and cell phone properly? Are you being holy, positive, and optimistic with the things you post or tweet or browse? Are you fostering unity among the brethren or are you sowing seeds of discord? Are you backbiting or tale bearing? Are you trolling through YouTube for things you shouldn’t? Finally, what about extracurricular activities? These can take away from family time. These can add stress as kids are being carted off here, there, and everywhere. Multiple kids going in separate directions at the same time. The more things children get involved in, the more there is a chance that these activities will become the priority over the family unit, the marriage, and even spiritual things like church and even God specifically. It’s great for children to be involved in activities beyond school, church, and home, but it must be monitored carefully, else the benefits will be outweighed by the potential downside to these things.
Why is reevaluating important? Here’s why. I’ve said before that a family is a living, breathing organism. Consider a shrub that you plant in the corner of your yard. If left alone, that shrub will grow unmonitored and over the course of years, it will have grown wildly and not resemble the shrub you wanted to see when you planted it in that corner of your yard. So now, years later, in order to get that shrub back to what it’s supposed to be for you to enjoy it, a major overhaul must take place. This will require drastic changes and interventions to that shrub. But if you had only assessed that shrub every year, the pruning would have been minimal and much easier on the shrub itself.
It’s the same way with our families. If we let “nature” run its course and we don’t take a position of vigilance and we allow our families to “grow wildly” and unchecked, over time it will not resemble what we once had, or were always hoping for when starting the family. Now instead of small adjustments to the family, we are forced to make drastic interventions that will no doubt be painful. If we want optimal families, you can not let them grow wildly and unchecked. You MUST frequently assess it’s overall health in many areas, including how your own personal life may be affecting the family, either positively or negatively.
This is just a compass point to get you thinking on these things. Hopefully you will begin assessing and evaluating for the first time if you’ve never done so before. And once you evaluate for the first time, continue to reevaluate as often as there is spiritual unrest in your heart. It could stem from one of these areas I touched on. Let the Holy Spirit be your Guide.