By Chuck Lawless
At this time last year, I wrote a post on “10 Questions for a Six-Month Spiritual Checkup.” If you haven’t done a spiritual self-reflection yet this year, I encourage you to take time to read those previous questions and analyze your spiritual life today. Then, review the questions in this post to look at your life at an even deeper level.
- Do you need to forgive someone? Jesus is clear that if we don’t forgive others, the Father does not forgive us (Matt. 6:14-15). So, while we may think our anger is justified, it only hurts us to stay bitter. The cost, in fact, is serious as it harms our relationship with God.
- Does your daily talk reflect godliness? It’s hard to read Ephesians 5:4 (“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving”) without evaluating our daily conversations. If other believers heard everything you said last week, would your witness be strengthened or harmed?
- Does your budget reflect a commitment to God’s work? I know it sounds trite, but what we give toward God’s work really does have eternal dividends. Any sacrifice so others may know Jesus is no sacrifice at all. Would your checkbook show you prioritize God’s kingdom?
- Do you know your neighbors and co-workers? It’s easy to be so “on the go” that we know our neighbors and co-workers on only a superficial basis, if we know them at all – which makes it difficult to share Christ with them. Even our prayer for them is surface-level if we don’t know them.
- Do you pray regularly for leaders? Regardless of our political positions, we are mandated to pray for those in authority (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Think about those for whom you might pray: school officials, bosses, mayors, governors, the president. Obedience here is especially important in this election season.
- Do you read more blog posts than you do the Bible? Obviously, I tread softly here, as I’m deeply grateful you’re reading this post. On the other hand, what bloggers have to say is nothing compared to the Word of God.
- Do you pray only when you have to? Many of us pray more reactively than proactively. Prayer is not in our DNA; it is only our response when we face something we can’t handle. That kind of praying misses the point of being in a relationship with God.
- If you’re married, does your marriage reflect the love of Jesus for His church? Do you love your spouse sacrificially (Eph. 5:25), to the point of being willing to die? Would your spouse agree with your response to that question?
- Are you hiding anything? Hiddenness is usually a sign the enemy is winning in one’s life. Then, the anguish of such sin is only deepened by the efforts we expend trying to keep it covered up.
- Do you really love God’s church? Paul thanked God for the Corinthians at the beginning of his letter to them (1 Cor. 1:4-9) and expressed his love for them in his closing (1 Cor. 16:24). In between, though, he described them as a mess. Only God can give us this kind of love for His bride, especially when the church is problematic.
- Are you ready to quit? Maybe your church role has drained you to the point you wonder if it’s worth the effort. If your faith is being stretched to its limit, I encourage you to gather prayer partners and talk with friends before giving up.
- Where do you most need to strengthen your walk with God for the rest of this year? Reading this post will make no difference unless you make an intentional plan to change. Tell us what commitments you are making, and give us the privilege of praying for you.
Posted on June 18, 2015
Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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