"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio


Summary: Th unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates said it but does that mean the examined life is worth living.

The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Christians (4)

Live the UneXamined Life

Cardiff Heights Baptist Church

23 January 2000

As we come to the fourth habit of the highly ineffective Christian, I

am sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that each of the habits

has featured a shape. Habit 1 was to “Live in the Circle of

Ineffectiveness”. Habit 2 was to “Put God in a Square Box”. And

Habit 3 was to “Embrace the Triangle of Mediocrity”. Now some of

you may have hypothesized that this is just some fixation of mine

with shapes but that is not the case. These shapes were carefully

chosen because these shapes were a vital part of my research for

this sermon series. The shapes come from my research

instrument this.

Hold up Playstation controller

Here we have the circle, the square, the triangle and the fourth

button is an X. Which brings us to the fourth habit of the highly

ineffective Christian.

Show Overhead http://www.geocities.com/dreamingisdangerous/unexamined.JPG

The fourth habit of the highly ineffective Christian is that they “Live

an uneXamined life”.

You will enter a new sphere of ineffectiveness if you live an

unexamined life. The truth, that living an unexamined life will

produce mediocrity beyond compare, is not a new discovery. The

ancient Greeks new it well. It was Socrates who said, “The

unexamined life is not worth living”. To be effective in your

Christian walk you need to examine your life in order that you can

as Socrates put it “Know Thyself”. This habit is actually quite easy.

We seldom examine ourselves since we don’t want to know

ourselves. If we knew ourselves we would probably run away.

To examine yourself is to take the most treacherous journey there

is. The journey within. The famous American Monk, Thomas

Merton is said to have once claimed, “The real journey is the

journey within.’ For the effective Christian it is crucial that the

impact of the gospel upon their inner life is taken seriously.

A great deal of Christian teaching and books have to do with how

people deal with their ‘outer world’: being Christian in lifestyle;

sharing the gospel with others; engaging in works of justice,

compassion and mercy and upholding traditional Christian work

ethics and moral stances. The emphasis is often on service or on

ministry to others as if such activity is the hallmark of Christian

obedience. However, it is not possible to sustain any such

dimensions of Christian living without renewing the inner world.

Without taking the inner journey and examining your life, you

cannot cope with the activity. A good example of this can be found

in the story of Elijah found in the first book of Kings chapters 18

and 19.

This was a period in the history of the nation of Israel like so many

others where they were worshipping other gods. The king at the

time, Ahab, was married to a woman named Jezebel who

worshipped Baal and Asherah. And in chapter 18 we have a kind

of contest between Elijah and four hundred and fifty prophets of

Baal. The contest was not to show that the Lord was more

powerful than Baal but to show that Baal was no god at all. Cutting

to the chase, God won and then Elijah killed all four hundred and

fifty prophets of Baal and then after that Elijah had a race with the

king, Ahab. The King in his chariot and Elijah on foot and Elijah

won. All in all a busy day for the prophet.

When he collapsed on his bed in his home town, Jezreel at the

end of his big day on Carmel, Elijah was a spent man. Three years

of pent-up emotions had been released that day; the same day in

which he had built an altar, wrestled in prayer on the mountain top,

his head between his knees in intense concentration, then dealt

with the prophets of Baal; and finally, after all that, he had run like

the wind ahead of the king’s chariot to Jezreel, some thirty

kilometres away.

All the man’s energies had been fiercely consumed. But this is the

point in the story where it gets interesting. We pick up on the story

in Chapter 19.

Read 1 Kings 19:1-9a

Here we have Elijah who took on 450 prophets of Baal and won

and then ran faster than the kings chariot and is now scared to

death of one woman, Jezebel. That must be one scary lady. The

truth is that Elijah was crushed by the demands of ministry. He

couldn’t cope anymore. He’d had enough. He fled the cruel


Threatened by Jezebel, he runs like a cockroach when the lights

are turned on, clear across the country, on and on, until he loses

himself in the desert, overwhelmed by depression.

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