Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

The Good and Bad of Introspection

Many wise people today warn us of the dangers of too much introspection. There is a need for this timely warning. Nothing is easier than to become so concerned about our moods and feelings that we are constantly feeling our spiritual pulse and taking our spiritual temperature. It is good for us at times to forget we have such a thing as a pulse or a temperature. I think, if I recall correctly, that it was Wilberforce who, when asked about the condition of his soul replies: “I am far too busy trying to free those poor slaves to have time to consider the state of my own soul.” The real cure for morbid introspection is to be involved in some big fight for the good of our fellow men. When we are facing some task bigger than we know how to manage we find a healthy introspection taking place. We become concerned to know what it is that I holding us back from maximum efficiency. The person who is lost in some mighty enterprise uses introspection merely as an aid to effectiveness and never as an end in itself. If we have no great purpose calling us, introspection tends to become morbid. The moment we are caught up in some high adventure healthy introspection must have its rightful place. Our prayers must be, “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 everlasting.” We should therefore only search our hearts that we may be led in the way of God’s eternal purpose.


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