The purpose of the church, the Christian life, believers meeting together, grace-gifts, recognized leadership, and all the spiritual disciplines, is to make us more and more like Jesus. With that in mind, we are to examine and purify ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5; 7:1). While an Oxford student in 1729-1730, John Wesley wrote a list of questions for his own self-examination, and later refined the questions for use in his small groups. This regular exercise in self-examination was one of Wesley’s “methods” that gave rise to the nickname “methodist.” Today, nearly three centuries later, Wesley’s 21 questions are still as applicable and challenging as the day he first wrote them.
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(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 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 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?