By C.S. Greene
This is the season of Lent for many Christ-followers. During this time of the Christian year, Christians all over the world reflect on the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It is a time to check one’s priorities, to do a kind of inventory of one’s soul. I grew up in the Methodist tradition. All my life, Lent has been a season in which I both dread and rejoice. It isn’t easy to be brutally honest with one’s self. John Wesley, the founder of my particular tradition, didn’t set out to concluded believers often took their faith for granted and overlooked the scriptural mandate to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
In light of this hope, Wesley set out questions for personal, deep soul searching and accountability to one to another in what began as a “Holy Club” (not his term for the accountability group, but originally an insult from not so serious classmates). I share those with you know in hopes you might use them this Lent as guides for your reflection. The club members rigorously self-examined themselves everyday by asking the following 22 questions:
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?
4. Can I be trusted?
5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to me?
“Encourage one another daily . . . so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13