Reading: Proverbs 26:1-28
As I read today’s chapter, I see many of the same themes we have considered over the last month. As I reflect I ask myself am I growing in these areas, or, have I stalled? Am I putting into practice what I have learnt? Am I merely being informed by Proverbs or am I being transformed by them?
In 1729, while John Wesley was a student at Oxford, he started a club with his brother Charles. It was often mockingly derided as “The Holy Club” by some of their fellow students. The club never exceeded more than 25 members, yet had among its ‘old boys’ such men as George Whitefield, who joined the club just before the Wesleys departed for Georgia, John Clayton who became a distinguished Anglican churchman, James Hervey who became a noted religious writer and Benjamin Ignham the renowned Yorkshire evangelist.
Every day in their private devotions the club members rigorously self-examined themselves by asking the following 22 questions:
- 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 another what was told 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 it time to speak to me every day?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- When did I last speak to someone else about 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, criticise, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what I am doing about it?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?
These are great and challenging questions and it’s amazing how the questions mirror many of the great themes of Proverbs. Why not print them off and use them regularly as a spiritual check list? However, be careful not to be condemned by the list, instead use it as a springboard for diligently following Jesus. Please don’t see it as a set of ‘plates to keep spinning’, but as a helper, let it serve you in your relationship and walk with God.
King David Prayed
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps139:23-24 NIV 1984)
“Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.” (Proverbs 26:2)
Father, help me see that out of the raw materials of human living, I must fashion the important qualities of diligence: help me do that in your strength. I ask your help in this, help me to know the rewards of spiritual diligence are far greater than the cost. In Jesus name. Amen.
Please note: Any comments containing links may not appear immediately, as they are held for moderation.
Only your name and comment are required to post, if you enter your email this will not be shown with your comment.