{Many Questions and Few Answers Along the Never-Finished Journey of Faith}

In Case Your Lent Wasn’t Already Uncomfortable…

lentWell we’re a little over two weeks into the season of Lent. How many of you have snuck a cup of coffee or a piece of pie yet? Maybe you’ve already fallen away from your commitment to read more devotional material or more of your bible — it’s tough to keep up a new practice. Maybe you’ve found yourself gossiping to having a glass of wine even though on Ash Wednesday you were fully convinced 40 days of depravity were no sweat.

A friend recently pointed me to John Wesley’s rules for his holy club. After reading these rules, I’m convinced my Lenten disciplines are pretty much child’s play. Wesley didn’t institute these rules for a 40-day season. He thought we ought to live up to them every day of the year. More than your politics or your social stances, these rules as guideposts for the Christian life.

When I read them, I realize that much of what he expected and spelled out is the essence of what it means to live every minute of every day as a follower of Jesus. It’s hard by design. So I hope maybe you’ll be as convicted by these rules as I am. And I’m pretty sure there’s still time to add a couple of these to your Lenten discipline…

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 others what has been said 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 the Bible time to speak to me every day?

9.  Am I enjoying prayer?

10. When did I last speak to someone else of 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?

Here’s to living a holy Lent together…