My husband and I were driving.

“I wonder what my quirks are,” I said out of the blue.

My husband laughed. He’s used to my conversational style, popcorn thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere, but I’ve been pondering for awhile.

“What are mine?” he asked.

Wise man. He was trying to delay the answer.

“The key thing. . . definitely.” You see, he has a fear of keys disappearing. Very few have, but when he places a key in your hand it’s a huge act of trust. He’s confident in us in every other area, but he’s not content until that key is returned. It’s not a normal response, but one that borders on anxious.

It’s a quirk. He reasoned that it’s perfectly normal to worry over keys. After all, replacing a key is a big deal.

But that was my point exactly. How many quirks do I have that I find perfectly normal. I can even find excuses for or rationalize them, all the while the rest of the world sees it differently.

I’m happy with my quirks, and if the key thing is my husband’s greatest quirk then I’m a lucky girl. But how many times do we point out the faults and flaws of others, while completely oblivious to our own.

This can lead to living stuck rather than free. We’re busy pointing and blaming, even with good reason, and yet our own faults remain unaddressed.

This can happen when an abusive father marked our hearts, and yet we fail to see that our drinking is hurting our children.

It can happen when someone fails to apologize, and we let bitterness hurt our relationships with the innocent.

It’s a cycle where we exam others in such detail that our own opportunities to grow go unnoticed.

Are you ready to self-exam?

Not in a harsh light. Not with guilt. But to see those places where we need healed, or to stretch beyond the past to live fully in the present. To take our focus off of others to begin the process of holy surgery today with God’s loving hands.

To live free: Self-exam with the gentle light of the Holy Spirit.


5-9 Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. But if it comes to that, we’d rather the test showed our failure than yours. We’re rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn’t possibly do otherwise.

We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives. (2 Corinthians 13:5-9 The Message)