The Apostle Paul urges all believers who come to the Lord’s table to examine themselves before taking communion. He writes: “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” The below is a guide for confession of sin called “The Traits of the Self-Life.”
Please use it to prepare your hearts to receive communion.
As you read, examine yourself in the presence of God and ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify, confess, and hate pride, selfishness, and rebellion in your life.
• Are you ever conscious of a secret spirit of pride: An exalted feeling in view of your success or position; because of your good training, appearance or success; because of your natural gifts and abilities?
• An important, independent spirit? Love of human praise; a secret fondness to be noticed; love of supremacy, drawing attention to self in conversation?
• The stirrings of anger or impatience, which, worst of all, you call nervousness or holy indignation; a touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent or retaliate when disapproved of or contradicted; a desire to throw sharp, heated flings at another?
• Self-will; a stubborn, unteachable spirit;
• An argumentative, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions; an unyielding, headstrong disposition;
• A driving commanding spirit; a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed; a peevish, fretful spirit: a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored?
• Carnal fear; a man-fearing spirit; a shrinking from reproach and duty; a shrinking from doing your whole duty by those of wealth or position; a fearfulness that someone will offend and drive some prominent person away; a compromising spirit?
• A jealous disposition, a secret spirit of envy shut up in your heart; an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings of others, rather than affirming the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself?
• A dishonest, deceitful disposition; the evading and covering of the truth; the covering up of your real faults; leaving a better impression of yourself than is strictly true; false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth?
• Unbelief; a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition; lack of quietness before and confidence in God; lack of faith and trust in God;
• A disposition to worry or complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence;
• An over anxious feeling whether everything will come out all right?
• Formality and deadness; lack of concern for lost souls; dryness and indifference; lack of power with God? Selfishness; love of ease and love of money?
These are some of the traits that generally indicate a carnal heart.
By prayer, hold your heart open to the searchlight of our gracious Father
until you see His Spirit softening your heart and resolve to eliminate these traits
and replace them with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Holy Spirit will enable you, by confession and faith, to put your “self-life” to death.
Do not gloss over them but go down to the bottom. It alone will pay.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10)
O, to be saved from myself, dear Lord, Oh to be lost in Thee;
Oh, that it might be no more I, but Christ who lives in me. AMEN.