Convicting Questions

wesley-oxford-350James 5:16 exhorts us to confess our faults to each other. In our individualistic society, our personal sin struggles get pushed back into our private inner world, unknown to our fellow believers.

This is unfortunate, due to the fact that the church is designed for believers to help each other grow in Christlikeness. How can we effectively help each other if everyone keeps his struggles to himself?

John Wesley, an 18th century English evangelist, understood this tendency. So he set up a system whereby local groups of believers would regularly ask each other pointed and personal questions so that they could exhort, encourage, rebuke, and pray for one another more effectively.

As you read these questions, don’t just think about how you would honestly answer them. Ask yourself whether there is anyone in our church to whom you could answer these questions honestly:

  1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I 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 onto another what was told to me in confidence?
  4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
  5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
  6. Did the Bible live in me today?
  7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
  8. Am I enjoying prayer?
  9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith?
  10. Do I pray about the money I spend?
  11. Do I get to be on time and get up on time?
  12. Do I disobey God in anything?
  13. D I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
  14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
  15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
  16. How do I spend my spare time?
  17. Am I proud?
  18. Do I thank god that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
  19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it?
  20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?
  21. Is Christ real to me?

2 Responses

  1. Great blog, Jake! This is such a shake-down against the whole idea of, “Well, I don’t smoke, drink, curse, or abuse my wife/kids – so I must be pretty good…if not sin-free!” The enemy wants us to take a position of complacency such as this, but our sin runs so deep and so wide. Somebody once asked me, “Jim, does your faith run a mile wide but only an inch deep? Or does it run a mile deep regardless of its breadth?” I hope my faith runs miles deep, and I hope my sin is becoming more and more shallow and narrow every day. A blog with a list of questions like these (and some serious, honest, frequent prayer) can only help me to become more like Christ. Jake, thanks so much for such a helpful and practical message!

  2. Thanks for some thought provoking questions. That’s enought to keep me busy for a very long time. I appreciate all that you do.

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