A while ago, maybe when I was 21 or 22, I started journaling a list of questions that I would think about, inspired by Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions, but with a Socratic spin to them. They aren’t particularly ordered, I just add to them as I think of them. The first fifty or so came in rather quick succession, but the others seem to be just individually added and assorted over time.
- What am I doing now to be more like Jesus, emulating his verity, morality, and character?
- Am I resolved to do whatever I think is best for the glory of God, the good of humanity, and my personal potential for the Lord so long as I live, no matter what difficulties I might meet?
- In every moment of my time, in every movement of my mind, with every pulse of my heart, am I determined to try to do the good, pleasing, perfect, will of God?
- Am I willing to live for Christ in the most normal circumstances and at the highest stakes?
- Am I willing to live and die for my closest convictions, what I think is right?
- Am I willing to live on the edge of poverty, uncertainty, forsake fear of failure, and give up what the world values as success, even when it’s purported by people who love the Lord?
- Can and do I remember that mostly precious metals and stones are counterfeited, not iron but gold, and so much of what imitates and pretends to be good really just isn’t?
- What are my efforts to be better like: are they, as far as I am able, entirely good, driven by love and virtue, flexible enough to put others first, and prioritized according to the laws of subsidiarity, those being closest in relationship and proximity deserving of more effort?
- Am I creatively and actively trying to improve and innovate in every aspect of my life as led by the Spirit, for the sake of the Son, and in sight of Father God?
- Which of my attempts to live for the Lord need to be adjusted, reevaluated, or even abandoned if inefficient or ineffective?
- How can I adapt my lifestyle to do the good I am not practicing and am I willing to develop all kinds of opportunities for God’s glory as they come about?
- Do my daily commitments, large and small, appropriately demonstrate the love of Christ and honor Him in every aspect, giving glory to him in everything?
- How might my religion always become more obvious to my conscience and more perceptible to those around?
- Is my thinking about my experience and interpretation of reality the proper framework to identify truth about Jesus and this world?
- Can I recognize the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy, determine who is adhering to them, and quickly process the action required on my part to confirm, challenge, or correct?
- Can I get to the heart every matter, keeping in mind it is the human heart that matters, and discern the significance, details, and weight of these subjects in the midst of a discussion?
- Do I let the judgment in my life, the kind others put on you without warrant or proper perception, belong to God alone?
- Are my expectations for my life or on a smaller scale, particular scenarios, based on stupidity, sin, and self-deceit, or courage, rationality, and good faith?
- Are my prayers a reflection of the heartfelt desire to live like is best, rather than an assortment of inconsiderate ideas or a variety of vain concerns?
- Are my prayers my most vain thoughts?
- And, when it’s my deepest and most heartfelt ones, how much should I be concerned?
- Do I frequently reminisce the significant moments the Holy Spirit impressed on me, when I made those heartfelt, tearful, commitments to the Lord, and allow these experiences to drive my emotions and enable the Spirit to work on my life?
- How can I turn these emotions into active devotion?
- Do I remember daily how precious and fragile life is, the times it was nearly taken away from me, the precariousness of everyday living, and consider it a blessing just to be here?
- On such basis, do I use time wisely and invest accordingly with all my earthly or ethereal assets, with a balanced and simultaneous expectation that I may be here a while, the results of my life and labor potentially lasting for a long, long, time?
- How intuitive am I to the feelings and behavior of others, how conscientious to their circumstances, caring for their pure desires, respecting of their time, attentive to their needs, and willing to go out of my way to help them with what I can?
- Do I concern myself with the possible perception of a scenario as well as the actual integrity of the same situation?
- Do I recognize that it’s not only my intentions that are important, that they be pure and contrite, but I must try to be efficient in my practice, lest I commit sins of omission and ignorance?
- For those I love and treasure, do I have the utmost filial fear and respect: the kind of feeling that makes you never want to do anything to hurt them, but value every part of them; or, say any word to betray their trust, but to be more loyal than dawn after dark; or make any mistake that adversely affects their life, but strengthen them to live for Jesus day by day?
- How often do I take the time of day to tell those I care for just how much they mean to me?
- Am I putting myself in position for success, as defined and considered by the Lord of life?
- Do my daily decisions conform to my resolutions?
- Am I more content with making resolutions than keeping them, asking questions than being affected by them?
- What kind of name and reputation is required to best do the work of the Lord?
- How do I humbly achieve that perception and earn the trust of others?
- On the supposition that not everyone will have opportunity to discern and judge properly your behavior with all the facts at hand, whose opinion do I care most about, and how can I reveal the aforementioned?
- Am I convinced integrity will ultimately be the best policy, no matter who sees, knows, or hears?
- Am I generous within the contexts of theological debate (or any other kind of such)?
- Will I be firm, yet sympathetic, to other perspectives, positions, and opinions?
- How best can I communicate the truth of any topic with my words and actions?
- Am I properly focused on the welfare of others even in the middle of intense dialogue?
- Do I introduce questions at appropriate times in conversation?
- Is my tone productive to the furtherance of corporate study of Scripture, clear and concise to communicate effectively, and useful for continued peace (when it wouldn’t overcompensate for other virtues)?
- How fast do I disregard the viewpoints of others?
- How do I learn to listen throughout conversation?
- Do I praise by name and criticize by category?
- Do I preface my statements with encouragement, via positives and benefits, before making any attempts to reform?
- How can I find people willing to discuss important matters with moderation, provoke unlike-minded others toward that ideal, and develop where lacking that within myself?
- How do I discern the will of God for my life?
- Is it clearly against God’s commands or nature?
- Is it loving? (Romans 13:10)
- Is it illegal? (Romans 13:4)
- Will it harm a fellow brother or sister? (Romans 14:1)
- How does it relate to the state I’m in and the state of my heart?
- To what end are my aims directed?
- Do I think of the Bible as just a dusty book upon my shelf, and just pick it up when I need help?
- Today, did I really make an attempt to know the Lord Jesus Christ for who he actually is, or at best, a casual attempt?
- If I am not immediately attracted to an author or speaker’s worldview, style, vocabulary, or otherwise, am I too quick to dismiss their vantage point?
- When was the last time I read a difficult book that challenged my own perspectives?
- Do I talk about my point of view before I’ve worn out my walking shoes?
- How do I face the uncertainty and reality that His will is not a dotted line which I must stay on ( … ), but that my choices yesterday, today, and tomorrow affect my progress?
- Do you really think if they crucified Christ, they’ll accept you, the world that is?
- Yet, do I remember that the world’s methods or opinion (especially in comparison to Christian cultures) might not necessarily fail to be insightful, unprofitable, or unacceptable, because of common grace?
- Am I grasping for wealth of some nature, or scheming for power, even in the more dull and discreet forms than typically considered?
- Do I too continually remember that persecution and contradiction are not synonymous?
- For what purpose do I collect these books?
- Some say fame, fortune, pride, or power are the intentions of a library, while others think it a service to God, country, family, and others. Which of these lies nearest to my heart?
- What plan to read can I formulate that wouldn’t detract from my other Christian duties and responsibilities of normal life?
- What are my thoughts in my weakest moment, and how do I overcome them?
- What kinds of accountability can I introduce into my life to ensure the protection of those I love and progress in that love?
- What can I do for…
Children, both girls and boys?
Teenagers, young men and women?
Young adults, of either gender?
My peers and contemporaries in time or place?
Mothers and Fathers
Those active in military service?
Those in prison?
- Do I count everyone in my life as much as I can?
- Do I pray for people by name?
- Do I think of even those who aren’t the closest to us?
- Do I ever keep a list of people we could do things for?
- Do I take any measures not to forget?
- Maybe more than determining to be successful for the Lord, I should simply determine to do something substantial?
- When I hold onto the bluebird of my youth, does it bring me closer to the truth?
- Or, does it drive me into the sin of sentimentality?
- Do I have a love of genuine interest, of determined dedication?
- Do you follow Jesus just because you want to see miracles in your life?
- Am I a positive agent of growth and change for those in my church?
- When I make critical decisions, do I sincerely think the following?
It may be dangerous;
I may have to use my own resources;
It may be inconvenient;
It may be expensive;
I might be ridiculed;
I may have to take on ongoing responsibility;
But it’s worth it.
- What are even the questions I should be asking?
- As Augustine noticed, what aspects of life am I blind to and unaware of?
- What would my decision be if I were to have no stake in the matter?
- Isn’t it strange how out most mindless, automatic, and arbitrary decisions make a ton of difference?
- When someone says something, in the present or in hindsight, am I thinking, “who will benefit most from this?”
- How do I overcome even the steadiest beat of illicit passions or temptations, however beautiful they seem, whatever they offer toward my dreams?
- Do I possess relentless optimism on account of the hope within me?
- Do you really see what you see without filter or fiction?
- Do I speculate beyond the bounds of my competence?
- Do I mistake my private affections for true virtue?
- Am I resolved to simply do what I could? What more would God even expect of me? (Mark 14)
- How is my life’s spiritual agility? Are you an ostrich or an eagle?
- Am I prompt with my charity?
- How do I promote a creative fidelity?
- Do you believe in order to understand or believe in order to experience?
- Is my religious devotion head-over-heals passion?
- Is my Bible reading ethically interested, or passively resigned to a sort of entertainment?
- Am I making mistakes in my interpretation to inappropriately justify my biases?
- Am I continually putting my matrix of presuppositions into check?
- Who can I consult to best bring to my attention of my faults?
- How can you be patient without losing progress?
- Do I ask for help from others no more than I ought, but as soon as I perceive it to be good for everyone?
- In what ways does my current pace of life enhance or diminish my ability to allow God’s will and presence full scope in my life?
- On the basis of the biblical evidence, were we choose a perspective that shares similarities to the present direction of culture, are we capable and willing to make proper distinctions that clearly will identify our purpose of honoring and serving the Lord Jesus Christ?
- Is it my ambition to live a quiet life, work with my own two hands, and live for the Lord?
- What relationships do I need to develop, repair, or cherish?
- Am I making tasks harder than they need to be because of a hardened heart, unwilling mind, uncertain feet, slow hands?
- What do I notice about my desiring eyes, pathetic resolve, the way I work through my lies, the way my world revolves?
- Do I appreciate each season for what it’s worth, and cherish the variety and diversity, being patient for the good that is to come in the springs and summers of life?
- Am I loyal, or do I change colors with the wind? Is your loyalty stranger than your sympathy?
- Does the grace of God ever make your heart stop anymore, or does the good news of Jesus just feel like lopresser in your blood?
- Am I still excited to discover your goodness, God, and do I ever continue to enjoy the pursuit of your purposes for me?
- Do I let my regrets and past mistakes haunt me beyond the necessity of conviction and confession to the Lord, resolution with my neighbor, and personal edification in learning?
- Do I try to turn back the tides of my compulsions under my own power, or do I continually depend on the Spirit of holiness to perfect my weaknesses?
- As sure as the dawn follows the night, do I remember the best days are ahead, but there is good purpose and pleasure in the present?
- Are you open and honest with the people you can trust, and can carry out a serious conversation without changing the tone of your voice and the words for your thoughts for the worse?
- When I receive personal criticism, what is my most intuitive feeling and reaction?
- What probably provokes that emotion and response?
- Is that something to confess to my Savior, who sympathizes with my every weakness?
- Am I willing to admit such? If not, what might make me willing?
- Lord, do I desire you above all else, more than my pride and insecurity?
- How can I improve the environment of the land I borrow or posses?
- Do I know how to distinguish value from price?
- Am I at the correct angle to see the kind of truth I’m looking for?
- Am I the kind of person who would see the truth of this matter most clearly, or should I first ask God, then someone else for their perspective?
- To have lasting effect, is my heart compelled by compassion?
- How do I stand for true doctrine without being militant?
- How do I exponentially increase my love and devotion for God and his good news?
- Is my life the best answer I have for my part of the Great Commission?