Friday, August 27, 2010

Am I Closer to God?

Lately, the United Methodist Church has been challenging us with the question: “Are you closer to God this year than last year? How do you know?”

It can be frustrating to try to answer this question because sometimes we are making our greatest strides toward God when we feel farthest away. On the other hand, we can feel like we’re doing well when in fact we haven’t grown at all.

But perhaps there are some things we can look at to measure if we’re moving forward. Here’s a list of questions to help me gauge myself:

How often did I worship with the Lord’s people last year?

How regularly am I praying?

What am I praying about?

How often do I ask, “What does God want?” How often has that question changed my actions?

How much money did I give to the Lord’s work? More significantly, how much of a percentage of my income did I give?

How many acts of service did I perform? How many hours did that amount to?

Can the people closest to me (family and work) tell a difference in me?

How often do I go out of my way to speak kindly and encouragingly to others?

How often do I deliberately notice the needs of others?

Am I teaching the children about Jesus by instruction and example?

How gentle am I? How often did I answer softly when I wanted to yell?

How far along am I in forgiving those who hurt me?

How did I act when things went terribly wrong?

How did I act when I did not feel my best—hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or sick?

How many mistakes did I correct? How quickly did I take responsibility for them?

Did I tell the truth?

Did I keep my promises?

Answer honestly. Recognize your improvement without being boastful. Need to work on some things? Instead of wallowing in guilt, go to work.

Become the person you want to be.


  1. I get depressed when I look at lists like that. No matter how hard I try, I fall short. I know God wants me to do those kinds of things.

    When my daughter does her homework, and cleans her room, and does the dishes, and doesn't talk back ... I'm good with that. But when she, for no reason, crawls up in my lap, puts her arms around me, and says "Daddy, I love you". I'm thinking God wants that most of all.

  2. Greg, I have no argument with that. It's probably the best point to be made. Sorry to depress you. Better go get a hug from that precious daughter.