Discipline. It’s a word that can trigger strong reactions. Athletes value it. Two-year olds and teens resist it. For United Methodists it’s that book that holds our history, our beliefs, and our rules. Sometimes we struggle with its contents, which are constantly under review as our global church grows and attempt to live int oGod's call together.
Discipline is also the Wesleyan way of life that formed the USA’s middle class with attention to character, work habits and savings in an encompassing atmosphere of grace.
In our current age, guided often by emotions, returning attention to our will can re-equilibrize teeter totter lives. And doing so in a supportive community of Jesus followers makes it soul work instead of just another self-improvement exercise.
Here are 22 questions the members of John and Charles Wesley’s Holy Club asked themselves every day in their private devotions over 200 years ago. If we dive into this list without practice, it can feel like a jump into the deep end. But time spent with these questions reorients us to a God saturated environment and the daily examen begins to flow. Forming a small group that regularly meets to share what we learn is the Wesleyan way of Christianity.
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really 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 on to another what was told to me in confidence?
4. Can I be trusted?
5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give it time to speak to me every day?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to me?
Welcome to the Holiness club! (Wesley)
Karen L Munson
A pastor and artist, I'm wondering while I'm wandering through God's marvelous creation.