Progress reports are usually issued halfway through the grading period, and they give us some indication of what we need to do to pull our grade up before the end of the term. Some students don't need to do anything, but for others, it is a reminder that it is time to kick it in high gear.
Progress reports show us where we are in relation to where we ought to be. They cause us to reflect and examine and change so that we can be more productive, more successful, more prepared for what lies ahead. They’re called quarterly statements in the financial world, yearly check-ups in the medical field, but what about in the realm of religion?
“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test”? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
This is a Biblical principle and expectation. Paul speaks of the need to consistently inspect ourselves to see what progress we have made toward achieving our spiritual goals and how much we have grown since our last examination. We ought to reflect on our weaknesses and make plans to guard against them so that we will be better prepared for our next battle. This involves measuring ourselves according to the perfect law of liberty, to evaluate our commitment to do all that He has commanded us to do.
The standard is the word of God. Not the elders, not the preachers, not the brethren, but the infallible, ageless word of God. It is the revelation of the mind of God, and it alone has the authority to tell us what we must do to be saved. (Romans 1:16)It alone has the authority to give us the principles that should guide our behavior in how we treat one another. (John 13:35) ”By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”. Examine yourself in relation to what you have done and what the Bible says you must do. How do you measure up?
The purpose of this progress report or self-examination is to see if Christ is in us. If He is not, then we have failed the test. Our problem is that we fill our minds and our bodies with the filth of the world and expect Him to dwell in the midst of it all. Think about it—is Jesus Christ in you? Right now?
In school, progress reports are given with ample time to make the necessary corrections and changes so that we can bring our grades up before they are finalized. If you don’t like the report of your self- examination or perhaps you failed the<