I. Write down the following 9 words as a list: love, joy, peace, patience/forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Put a number from 1-10 next to each that most closely indicates your current level of that trait and quality. Don’t over-think it. Go with your gut. Guts are honest.
Add up the numbers, divide that sum by 9. This is your averaged “Christian Fruits of the Spirit Quotient.”
II. Write down the following as a list: Fed hungry; Gave water to thirsty; Welcomed stranger in my home; Provided clothing to someone in need; Visited the sick and/or imprisoned. Write down the number of weeks (months? years?) ago for the last time you did each of these. Ask yourself why it’s been so long since you’ve done some of those things. (Matthew 25:21-46)
III. Write down the following as a list: avoid having other gods/idols (but if you have them, name them); avoid putting words into God’s mouth/blasphemy; Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy; Honoring my parents; Murder; Adultery; Stole something; Said something that isn’t true about someone; Covet someone else’s lover or belongings. Write down a number from 0-10 indicating how much you currently engage in each of those. (Exodus 20)
IV. Write down the following as a list: Love God with all my heart; Love God with all my soul; Love God with all my mind; Love myself; Love others. Place a number from 1-10 for each one indicting the degree that you do that. (Matthew 22:36-40)
V. Write down the names of the people who’ve wronged you who you haven’t fully forgiven. Write down the things that you haven’t fully forgiven yourself for. (Luke 7:36-50)
VI. Write down the word “Judgmental” and place the number from 1-10 next that you think other people would likely assign to you. (Matthew 7:1-5)
VII. Write down the names of some people who you hate, people who you consider to be your enemies. Write down what it is that you don’t like about them — the reasons that you hate them and consider them to be enemies. For each person, place a number from 1-10 for how much you love them. Write down how you’re like those people — how you have some of those same qualities in your personality and in your life. (Luke 5:43-48)
VIII. Write the word “Thankful” then place a number from 1-10 next to it according to how much you’ve felt and conveyed your gratitude to God. (Luke 17-1-19)
IX. Write the words “Generous & Sacrificial Giving” then assign a number from 1-10 for what a tax-preparer or CPA would assign to you. (Luke 21:1-4)
X. Write “Serve as a good Ambassador/Witness for Christ” and assign a number from 1-10; i.e., how good a job are you doing at offering an account of the hope that is within you with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15).
Ponder your responses to these inventories and consider them as being a collective mirror that you’re holding up to yourself for how you’re doing in your discipleship.
May God bless us as we each strive to be the best followers of Jesus and his Way that we can.
xx – Roger
p.s., Note: this exercise is not about comparing yourself to others. It’s not a competition. It’s simply a tool to help us assess how we’re doing and “where we’re at” on our respective walks with Christ. To remind us, following Christ isn’t a self-help or pull ourselves up by our own boot-straps sort of endeavor. We follow Christ best when we do it with others — and accept God’s Grace along the way. Highly recommended.
Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity