Written by Scott Walsh
This month, I've decided to do something a little different. It's sort of like 20 Questions, but it's not the parlor game of the same name. Bear with me, and your faith life may be transformed and strengthened.
I've been a follower of Christ (personally, I prefer that to believer, for, as James tells us, "You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror." James 2:19) for the better part of two decades, but until just a few months ago, I had never seen these questions before. When my wife, Monica, shared them with me, I was blown away.
They are very, very powerful.
There are actually 22 questions, not 20, but they are far more piercing and critical than the random questions bandied about to try to discern what random and inconsequential thing someone is thinking of in the game 20 Questions. These questions were developed by the great theologian John Wesley when he was a student at England's University of Oxford (which, just for the record, does have a hockey team) in 1729.
While studying there with his brother Charles, John started a club that came to be known as "The Holy Club." The members of The Holy Club examined themselves daily by asking themselves 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 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?
These 22 questions represent a big-time gut check. They are at once both convicting and encouraging (John 16:8-11). (Truth be told, they're more convicting, at least for me. But conviction is a good thing because it shows us where we're coming up short-which we all do in one way-or ways-or another. See Romans 7:7-25.)
Another way to think of this list of questions is like a check list. Most athletes have a list of equipment items they need to participate in their sport of choice, and hockey players probably need more things than most athletes. From mouth guards to sock tape, there are probably two dozen things you need every time you hit the ice, and you are wise to make sure you have everything you need, every time you lace up your skates (including your skates, which I've seen more than one player forget to bring to the rink). The armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) is a checklist of sorts.
You should run through your equipment list every single time you play. Pilots do the same thing before they fly. Even veteran aviators who have been flying for decades run through a physical check list, one item at a time, every time they fly. They leave nothing to chance.
And so it is-or at least should be-with our faith life. We should leave nothing to chance, and Wesley's 22 questions-a pre-flight checklist for your spiritual life-will keep us following Him and make it much quicker to get back on the right path when we go astray-and we will go astray; that's as sure as a goal on an empty net breakaway.
Develop the habit of asking yourself these questions each and every day. And to be honest, I'm not sure if doing so will make you a better a hockey player, but I do know that it will make you a better person. I believe that if you ask and answer these 22 questions every day you will find your walk with Christ strengthened and your faith deepened.
- Are there any questions you would add to this list? What and why?
- After you've read through the list several times over the course of a number of days, do you see any improvement in areas where you have struggled?
- 1 Corinthians 11:28
- Psalm 139:23-24
- Lamentations 3:40
- Galatians 6:4
About the Author
Scott Walsh works for Liberty Institute, the largest law firm in the United States dedicated solely to defending and restoring religious liberty in America. He and his wife Monica live in Oceanside, California and homeschool their son Jack. They attend Coastline Baptist Church in Oceanside and are constantly trying to figure out how to help Jack achieve his dream of playing in the NHL without playing travel hockey.
Posted on Tue, March 15, 2016
by Rick Randazzo filed under