My Confession

I don’t really like that word; never really have. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t automatically get a touch defensive just by reading that word… put your hand up. Anyone? Anyone?! Bueller?

That’s what I spoke about at church this morning: The place of confession and repentance in preparing the way for the Lord. Isaiah spoke of them. John did too (that’s the Baptist, not the Close). I admit that there’s a foolish part of me that would have preferred to have walked around the topic, but it just wasn’t an option. So on we marched.

A few thoughts…

Socrates has his famous quote: “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

An examined life… that’s GOT to be connected to confession and repentance–it’s being in tune with what’s really going on inside oneself. Not an easy task to be sure, but necessary. Derek Webb’s great song “Crooked Deep Down” has been in my head for over a week. I guess I can relate to its chorus:

“Oh Lord, I’m crooked deep down. Everyone’s crooked deep down.”

Crookedness can run so deep that we find the desire to rationalize and justify around every corner of our insides. One would think that such charades would get tiring enough that we’d just desire to simplify… just to live open, honest lives that have no games playing out. One would think…

John Wesley, while at university, gathered a group of friends. They called themselves the “holy club“. Their goal? To live examined lives and push each other upwards towards greater discipleship.

Below is the list of questions that they formed to help in the quest…

John Wesley’s Holy Club

These are 22 questions the members of John Wesley’s Holy Club asked themselves every day in their private devotions over 200 years ago.

  1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I relly 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 another what was told 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 it time to speak to me everyday?
  9. Am I enjoying prayer?
  10. When did I last speak to someone else about 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?

5 thoughts on “My Confession

  1. I’ll tell John Wesley the same thing I’ve already told Derek Webb… “Back off, buddy, that’s getting too personal…”

    That list of questions is great/devastating/useful.

    Thanks Rev.

  2. You said it, Dave. Some folks just need to learn to get their noses and voices out of any matters on which I might be thinking. I’m getting sick of feeling the rub when I darn well should!

  3. Wow, do those ever hit home. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jason. Amazing how someone who lived 200 years ago could have the same questions I have today…

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