"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts; see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24).
The Bible tells us of a rich, young ruler who came running to Jesus -- eager to meet Him and get an answer to his questions. He begins by saying, "Good Master, what must I do that I might have eternal life?" And the Lord changes the terms of their encounter immediately -- "Why call Me good?" He asked.
This was not what the rich young ruler expected to hear. He surely supposed, according to the custom of the day, that Jesus would in some way return to him a flattering gesture or remark. You know, something like, "My good man, how wonderful it is to meet you; and don't you look splendid in your robes and regal flair! Now then, what is it that I can do for you?"
But Jesus didn't come to play social tennis, batting superficial compliments back and forth for the sake of image and protocol. Seeing that He had Himself already laid aside His claims to Heaven's throne, and made Himself of no reputation -- this public posturing of the rich young ruler held no attraction to Him whatsoever.
One must realize that to enter into the Lord's presence opens the life up to a full examination, which begins with the abrupt dismissal of all flattery and pretense. Before Jesus could answer the young man's questions, He first had to correct his understanding.
Elsewhere Jesus said, "Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless"(Mar 12:38-40, Message). He said that their long prayers were pretentious, even as they themselves were.
Rather than continue living pretentious lives, robed in religious jargon and public posturing, follow David's private example and say the one thing that matters most -- "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts; see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
To live the ultimate life, we must undergo the ultimate examination.