Credit: Simon Schmitt
This daily post is designed to help you live into our New Room Society covenant of practicing daily prayer together. Below is this week’s theme and daily practice.
Week 4: Evaluation
Where are you in your spiritual journey? How do you measure your growth in the image of God? Is that even possible?
“Spiritual formation, I have come to believe, is not about steps or stages on the way to perfection. It’s about the movements from the mind to the heart through prayer in its many forms that unite us with God, each other, and our truest selves.” Henri Nouwen
“Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18, Contemporary English Version (CEV)
How deeply are you growing into the image and likeness of God?
This question may feel pretty personal, even invasive, but it’s not an unusual one among the leaders of God’s people, who have long been working to become “mature” or “fully grown” in Christ, and to help others to do the same.
“God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13, Common English Bible (CEB)
Spiritual growth isn’t about what spiritual gifts you have, or how long you’ve been a follower; it’s about the ways God’s image has become clearer in you. In a single word, spiritual formation is about your Christlikeness.
One way to become spiritually mature is to practice the spiritual disciplines, and the way to know if you’re growing in Christlikeness is to regularly evaluate how your practice is growing. Or you might make use of John Wesley’s “Holy Club” questions (which you’ll find in the materials for this week). Maybe you’ll evaluate your spiritual fruits.
And in all these things, you’ll do well to confide in a trusted spiritual friend and offer your support and encouragement in return.
Sunday: Holy Club Questions
In 1729, while John Wesley was a student at Oxford, he started a club with his brother Charles. Here is a list of some of the questions these “Holy Club” members routinely asked each other. What would happen if you went through these questions with a trusted friend?
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
- Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?
- Can I be trusted?
- Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
- Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
- Did the Bible live in me today?
- Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
- Do I pray about the money I spend?
- Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
- Do I disobey God in anything?
- Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
- Am I defeated in any part of my life?
- Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
- How do I spend my spare time?
- Am I proud?
- Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
- Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?