Time for a Spiritual Check-up

I’m told that if we want to ensure that we keep fit and well, then ideally we should make an appointment with the doctor once a year to undergo a physical check-up.

What is ideal in the world of physical health is also true in the world of spiritual health. If we want to ensure that we keep spiritually fit and well, then we need to undergo an annual spiritual check-up. Ideally a spiritual check-up is best undergone with a ‘soul-friend’ – for it is easy to deceive ourselves and not to see ourselves as we really are. However, it is also possible to engage in a ‘DIY’ check; up. But whether we do it by ourselves or whether we enlist the help of a Christian friend, the important thing is that we do it.

Normally when we have a physical check-up some of our blood is taken for the purpose of analysis. I want to suggest that when it comes to a spiritual check-up, we use the following diagnostic questions. You will see that I have taken the basic functions of blood within the human body and made them analogous to the nurturing, cleansing, helping and serving aspects f the Christian life (I confess that the analogy is not one of my making – but sadly I have forgotten the source of my inspiration!).

Testing the red blood cells (oxygen carriers that support life)

  1. Do I look forward to worshipping with God’s people on a Sunday?

  2. Do I belong to a small ‘growth’ group?

  3. Do I engage in some disciplined form of regular Bible reading and prayer

  4. Have I read a Christian book this past year?

  5. To what extent am I growing in grace and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus?

Testing the white blood cells (disease fighters for inner cleansing and renewing)

  1. Am I a more accepting, forgiving, loving person that I have been?

  2. Am I less likely now to gossip or criticise others; am I less greedy and less impatient?

  3. Are my motives increasingly less self-centred?

  4. Do I find myself using, encouraging, or competing with others?

  5. Do I ever tear another person down in jest or in anger?

Testing the platelets (blood clotters that staunch the wounds of living in a hurting world)

  1. Have I found someone to help me bear the burdens of life?

  2. Am I able to share my joys, hopes and dreams with others?

  3. When someone in jest or in anger tears me down, how do I handle it?

  4. How do I cope with failure?

  5. How do I cope with success?

Testing blood pressure (hyper tension and exercise)

  1. How do I deal with pressure, at work, at home, or at church?

  2. Am I able to ‘tithe’ my income, trusting God to supply my needs?

  3. Am I exercising my gifts within the body of Christ?

  4. Do I open my home to others, especially to people who are lonely or new in the church or in the neighbourhood?

  5. Have I been able recently to explain to neighbours or colleagues why I am a Christian?

Testing for inadequate blood cells (an imbalanced spiritual diet)

  1. Do I live a balanced life, having time for family, for recreation, and for personal growth?

  2. Do I live a balanced Christian life, having time to ‘be’ as well as to ‘do, and time to ‘do’ as to ‘be’?

  3. How able am I to relate my faith to what I do during the week?

  4. To what extent is my life characterised by joy?

  5. Would others call me an ‘enthusiast’ in whom God is clearly seen?.

Here then are 25 searching questions. It will take time to give a thoughtful and considered response to them. Ideally the ‘lab’ work is best done with a fellow Christian.

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