John Wesley's self-examination questions
- John Wesley's self-examination questions from 250 years
ago focused on spiritual accountability and personal character.
- Issues addressed by the self-examination questions include
hypocrisy, honesty, trustworthiness, devotion to scripture, prayer, and relationships with
- The self-examination questions encourage individuals to reflect on their behaviors, attitudes,
and the sincerity
of their faith.
How do you match up?
Here are 22 questions similar to those John Wesley gave to members of his
discipleship groups around 250 years ago.
questions have their origin in the spiritual accountability group started by Wesley when he was a
student at Oxford — a group that detractors called "The Holy Club." The first list appeared
about 1729 or 1730 in the preface to Wesley's second Oxford Diary. Similar questions
appeared in his 1733 A Collection of Forms of Prayer for Every Day in the Week. In
1781, Wesley published a list of questions like this one in The Arminian
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am?
In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
- Do I pass on to other people what has been said to me privately and in confidence?
- Can I be trusted?
- Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
- Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
- Did the Bible live in me today?
- Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- When did I last speak to someone else of my faith? [ conversation
starter springboards ]
- Do I pray about the money I spend?
- Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
- Do I disobey God in anything?
- Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is
troubled or uneasy?
- Am I defeated in any part of my life?
- Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
- What do I do in my spare time?
- Am I arrogantly proud?
- Do I thank God that I am not like other people, especially like the Pharisees who despised the
- Is there anyone I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward, or
disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?
"Encourage one another daily . . . so that none of you may be hardened by sin's
deceitfulness." -- Hebrews 3:13
-- Howard Culbertson
"No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to
the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true" —
Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter
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