Look to Yourselves
by Ron Drumm
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to see the faults of someone else? Most of us know how to point the finger at the person who has messed up. Taking responsibility and accepting the blame is not what most of us think about when something goes wrong!
In the church every Christian is called to be responsible for himself. The apostle John wrote, "Look to yourselves, that you do not lose those things you worked for, but that you may receive a full reward" (II John 8). The point is clear -- Christians are to take responsibility for their own lives. The apostle Paul expressed it this way, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? -- unless indeed you are disqualified" (II Corinthians 13:5).
Each one of us is in control of his life and the decisions he makes. We know that Jesus is in us and that He leads us by His Word (John 8:31,32; I John 5:20). The apostle John offers us some guidance in this matter of looking to ourselves. He points out that we can know there are deceivers in the world. We can know what these deceivers teach. We can choose not to have fellowship with these teachers of error (II John 7-11).
It is interesting that John warns us that we can lose the things we have worked for, and that we can not receive the full reward. Paul said that we could be disqualified. These two factors place eternal importance on each of us looking to ourselves and not to others to discern where we stand before God.
I can be deceived and I can be the deceiver. I can gain the reward, or I can lose the reward from God. I can be qualified, or I can be disqualified before God. So, I am responsible for my actions, thoughts, and choices as a follower of Christ.
John says that a transgressor and one who does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. On the other hand if we abide in the teaching of Christ we have both the Father and the Son. Also, we are not to fellowship someone who does not teach the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-11). Based on this responsibility we can surely see the importance of looking to ourselves in the matters of personal faith and fellowship!