How am I Doing?
A Self Check-Up for Disciples of Jesus

This article is written by Jack Pelham and is used with his permission.

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Have you become fully like Jesus yet? If not, this list of 40 questions might spark some new inspirations that you wouldn't have thought of on your own! Take the time to answer honestly and thoroughly - maybe even a couple of days to ponder the questions. Grade yourself, and then forward it to your friends. Talk about it. Pray about it. And if you see some changes you need to make, just imagine how excited Jesus will be that you've realized it! How refreshing it must be to God when one of his children strives to honour Him by being transformed by the renewing of his or her mind! (Romans 12:2).

  1. What have you learned lately about Jesus? Imagine how surprised we'd be to see the apostles walking with the Lord daily and yet learning nothing new about him! We expect a pharmacist to be expert on pharmaceuticals, and a psychologist to be expert on psychology, so shouldn't we expect a Christian to be an expert on the Christ???
  2. When was the last time that you were personally amazed with Jesus and with God? Remember, Jesus so amazed the crowds that thousands apparently would walk off their jobs and follow him across the countryside for an afternoon, or maybe even for a couple of days! Do you have a real sense of amazement about Jesus?
  3. What have you seen in Jesus that you feel a deep desire to emulate yourself? Think about the people whom you most respected in your earlier life. Didn't you want to be like them? Do you have that same child-like desire to be like the Lord?
  4. Are you continually devoting yourself to the apostles' teaching? Acts 2:42 in the NASB says: "And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Is it obvious to your friends, family members, and fellow disciples that you are a student of the apostles' writings? Does your devotion to knowing what these brothers taught go deeper than simply reading along whenever someone reads their writings in a sermon? Notice the word "continually" here, which the NIV omitted. Are you as committed today to studying what they taught as you were just before you were baptized?
  5. Do you practice the "Berean Challenge"? (Acts 17:11) When someone instructs you in your spiritual life, do you consult the Lord in the scriptures, or do you simply take someone's word for what God wants you to do and to believe? If you are the one doing the instructing would you be offended if someone thanked you for the lesson and then told you that they were going home to check out the Bible to see if what you said was true?
  6. Do you use the Bible for all your spiritual advice and counsel? If someone secretly recorded all the spiritual advice and instruction you gave (or received) in the last month, would you be able to go back and find a strong Biblical case for everything you taught (or were taught)? Do you "wing it" when it comes to advice and instruction, or are you really representing the Lord?
  7. Whose disciple are you? We can sometimes stray into becoming disciples of the Church, or of this or that leader, losing sight of the Lord himself. Are you trying primarily to please the Lord, to please some person in the Church? Are you more concerned with displeasing some person than you are with displeasing the Lord? When was the last time you felt the Lord pulling you in one direction, and a leader pulling you in another? How did you handle it? Whom did you decide to please? Whose praise means more to you? Jesus said it this way: "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" (John 5:44 NASB) See also Isaiah 57:11-13.
  8. Do you FEEL a love for God? Is He personally dear to you? In 1 Corinthians 16:22, Paul says that anyone who doesn't feel affection for the Lord is accursed. It's too hard a life to lead without some warm affection to drive us!
  9. Do you come to Jesus? Read John 5:39-40. You read the Bible (hopefully!), but do you go to Jesus (to whom the scriptures point) to get the abundant life about which you read? Or do you simply settle for an unfulfilled life? Do you cry out to him when you are spiritually hungry for more, or do you simply languish, hoping for a better day? What do you make of his promise that anyone who comes to him will never go hungry? (John 6:35) If you are still "hungry" spiritually, isn't it because you are not still coming to Jesus? How much of your spiritual activity is spent on something other than coming to Jesus as He had in mind.
  10. Are you enjoying your life? Read Ecclesiastes and wrestle with it. If you don't think that Jesus enjoyed His life, why would you want to follow him?
  11. Are you investing your "talents"? Is anything hindering you from using your God-given talents for God? Are you too busy doing "spiritual" things to be using your gifts to serve God? Are you a musician? Then how are you using music to serve God? Are you a gifted teacher? Then whom are you teaching? Are you determined to thoroughly develop any one gift, or do you just have a "see what happens" attitude about your gifts? You may or may not hear much about it before then, but at the judgment, God will hold you personally responsible for how well you used your gifts while you were here! It's not anyone else's responsibility to identify and nurture your talents - it's yours! So get to it and enjoy it!
  12. Do you correct yourself and others when a misuse or misunderstanding of scripture becomes apparent? Or do you just "let it slide"?
  13. Do you have a fervent concern for others? Paul said"I daily face the pressure of my concern for all the churches" and "Who is caught in sin, and I do not inwardly burn?"
  14. Are you still personally involved in the "Restoration"? Or do you live as if the Church has already been restored to her original glory? How could your spiritual surroundings be improved? Are you actively involved in improving your own life and the lives of those around you?
  15. When you "share your faith" with outsiders, are you sharing about the Church, or about Jesus himself? Do you know more about the church than you do about Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus would be more compelling than your "awesome" church is?
  16. Whom are you teaching to obey everything that Jesus commanded the Twelve to obey? (Matthew 28:20) What was the most recent thing about Jesus' teaching that you learned how to obey?
  17. Are you guilty of careless words and deeds? (Matthew 12:36) Do you speak the disciple lingo without even giving thought to what you're saying? When someone asks you how are you, do you automatically say "fine"? Do you really mean the words you sing in the songs at church?
  18. Are you kind to others? Are you rude? (1 Corinthians 13) Do you interrupt others in the fellowship? Do you have conversations in the aisles without concern for those who are trying to get by? Do you move others' belongings so that you may sit in the seat of your choice at church? Do you honour the Lord by arriving on time?
  19. Do you value relationships over mechanics? Do you still communicate with the folks in your last Bible Talk, or have you forgotten about them? Do you ask folks if they would serve, or do you tell them how they'll be serving? Are you more concerned about someone being late to your meeting than you are about whether that person suffered some hardship that caused them to be late?
  20. Which is more important to you - love or accountability? Which one do you think holds the long-term key to the success of the Church? Can you have one without the other? Should you have one without the other?
  21. Are you being a "peacemaker" in the Church, or do you let others' divisions go on unchecked? Do you speak up when you feel mistreated in the church, or when you see someone else mistreated? Or do you stay silent and assume that the responsibility falls on someone else? Are you willing to stand at odds with a brother or sister in order to see to it that Jesus' words prevail in every situation?
  22. What are you doing to see to it that the Church doesn't just turn into another denomination? What are you doing to prepare the next generation of disciples for what lies ahead? Will they be able to look back and thank God for the crucial help and training they received from you?
  23. Have you forgiven everyone? As the daily workings of life bring about continual realizations of how you've been wronged by others, do you continue on with an attitude of forgiveness, or do you get embittered all over again?
  24. Are you looking forward to seeing God? Do you have questions for him? Are there things in the scriptures that you're "just dying" to have him explain to you?
  25. Do your friends know for a fact that you love them deeply? (Outside of you telling them that you do!!!).
  26. Do you LOVE talking about the deep things in the Bible?
  27. Who was the last person whom you were able to encourage deeply?
  28. If you had to choose one over the other (which you DON'T!), which would you choose: Making new disciples, or helping existing disciples obey everything Jesus taught? Baptizing, or helping someone make it faithfully to Judgment Day? Making new friends, or deeply loving the ones you already have?
  29. When you pray, do you have a keen awareness that God is listening, and that your prayers are important to him?
  30. Do you feel inspired and empowered to change spiritually? Or do you feel depressed that there is so much to change and so little power to do it?
  31. Have you noticed yet that God is not like your dad? He's not like your boss, either. Nor your ministry leader. Is God so different in your understanding yet, that you don't mistake him for being like other people?
  32. Do you like yourself? If you don't, does it strike you as odd that God loves you tremendously, and yet you are holding on to grudges against yourself?
  33. Are you following Jesus because he is the LORD of all, or is it because he satisfies some particular appetite in you? Have you tried to make him king by force to meet your own objectives, or do you kneel before him begging him to empower you to meet His objectives? (John 5 and 6 are all about this.) Are you at church because it gives you a place to belong, or do you belong at church because you are devoted to Jesus?
  34. Do you use the Bible to make your own points, or do you use your life to make the Bible's points? Where's your truest loyalty? Have you really examined the scriptures to come up with your beliefs, or do you find yourself only examining the scriptures when someone has challenged what you're doing?
  35. How authorized do you feel to grow and to change spiritually? Do you feel like you need a "leader" to believe in you before you can really grow? Do you need a "leader" to agree with you before you start believing and practicing something you've found in the Bible that's new to you? Or do you think that Jesus' endorsement is sufficient for you?
  36. Are you in a spiritual environment that helps you to advance spiritually, or is it one in which you sometimes feel held back? How often do your leaders fail to implement your ideas for improvements to the ministry? Do you find yourself more concerned with the good of those around you than your "leader" appears to be? How much more fruitful could you be if you were in a different environment? Is your main loyalty to Jesus and to "bearing fruit" for Him, or is it to your church and to "bearing fruit" only in such ways as your church will authorize?
  37. Do you love numbers more than people? How many have you baptized even though you thought they weren't ready? How often have you kept silent as you saw someone else baptizing someone who obviously wasn't ready?
  38. Do you understand the difference between the Gospel (about how to be saved) and man-made church practices / doctrine? Would you refuse baptism to someone who believes the gospel and wants to be saved, yet who doesn't agree with all the practices of a church? Are you familiar enough with the scriptures to demonstrate what constitutes the practices of the church from the scriptures that demonstrate what is necessary for salvation?
  39. Do you see "church" as the center of your spirituality, or do you see your own heart and mind as the center? If "church" went away, would you still have as much spiritual fervour? Is "church" the basis of your spiritual life, or is it God himself? Do you think that "two or three" gathered in His name are as authorized by Jesus as a few hundred gathered in His name? Do you see the church as being simply a group of people who come together because they are fascinated with Jesus, or do you see it as an institution in its own right?
  40. Do you worship God? Regardless of how worshipful your church services are, do you personally worship God? Do you sing to Him outside of church? Do you think about Him throughout the week? Do you tell Him that you appreciate Him? Do you adore God?

Does all this have you thinking? Good! Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:15 that "the spiritual man makes judgments about all things." Don't be afraid to "do the maths", as it were. God loves it when we take the time to "clean house", so to speak. Take some time to dream out loud with God. Talk through these questions with Him. Dream about how great it could be if things were better.