When I was in the Air Force, we periodically pulled the planes into the hanger to inspect, clean, repair, test and align the onboard systems. This was a necessary activity in order to keep them running at peak performance. Without it, the planes would eventually cease to function properly. Therefore it was an important part of our function to examine the planes periodically.
God reminds us to examine ourselves (1 Cor 13:5). It occurs to me that this is not merely an individual self-reflection, but also a communal one as well. There were times we see this in scripture. Among the people of God, there has been both a collective responsibility, such as the time when Israel was defeated at Ai due to the sin of Achan, and collective repentance, such as the various times of national repentance. It involved everyone, not just a select few. The body of Christ needs a periodic checkup, and this can only happen with the entire body.
How often do christians and churches ever engaged in an in-depth, congregational wide process of self-reflection? If not very often, then it is long overdue. It should be at the center of what we do; it must involve everyone because all parts of the body are integral and important (1 Cor 12:14-26).
That is why a good, positive process of self-reflection is needed. It fits squarely be at the center of what should be doing as a body. As we reflect on God's mission, our place in God's mission, and how we can carry out God's mission in the most effective way, we will be aligning our onboard systems for a peak performance that gives honor and glory to God who is worthy of the very best that we can give him (Mal 1:6-14).
I am sure that artists can fully appreciate the biblical imagery of God being the potter and we the clay. We are an artistic expression to the world of God's character, mission, and heart. We demonstrate the glory of the Son by words without language and speech that is not heard. It is not just about what we say, but about who we are, or are becoming. As we submit to the potter, he shapes us into his incarnational image so that we can both reflect the glory of God and connect with people around us.
One of the biblical truths about ourselves is that we are to be a Christ centered family. This reminds us that God has brought us together as his body through the blood of Christ. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, for learning caring and sharing. It is therefore important that we examine our bonds of unity created by God, and that we affirm them and demonstrate them in our relationships and ministry. If we do this, then as his workmanship, we can be focused on the good works he has commissioned us to do. We can focus on God's mission and therefore give honor and glory to him.