John Wesley’s 21 Questions of Accountability

Today I encourage you to do a self-assessment. Consider this posting as an opportunity to reflect. And, if you are not a person of faith, rest assured that you will benefit from the process.

I wrote an odd email on Christmas Eve of 2012. It was difficult and humbling and challenging and one of the best things that I have done. You see, for over 40 years I had had a boss. That boss both directed and evaluated my work. I was accountable to them for my time and my effort. Then it all changed when I retired from federal service. About two months later, I sent the email.

The email asked several women in my life to serve as my new “boss.” As unnatural as it sounds, I asked them to hold me accountable to what I believed I was supposed to do. Although I have never named them in public (and won’t do so now), I sing their praises often. By receiving my email reports, providing feedback when they think it is helpful, and by always lifting me up in prayer, they help me to stay faithful to my goals.

My relationship with John (my Sweetie) also has accountability aspects but in different areas and in different ways than does my relationship with these amazing women of faith.

On this November Saturday, let’s take a few moments and conduct a personal accountability check. Using John Wesley’s 21 questions, we can evaluate our own spiritual progress and our actions of this past week. Don’t be discouraged – remember in every step of our faith, there is room for improvement, for growth.

  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 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 (the Bible) time to speak to me every day?
  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 bed on time and get up on time?
  12. Do I disobey God in anything?
  13. Do 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?

It is good for us to reflect. My own self-evaluation noted that I have lots of room for improvement. Time to get at it!!

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

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