Spiritual Audit

During a recent preach my mind started to wander onto a different wavelength. Usually I force myself to stay focussed or (if it’s really bad) start some Scripture reading, but this time I let my thoughts get some speed. I did this because it felt right, it felt important, and the questions which I wrote down (see below) seemed penetrating and revealing – things I try not to brush off easily.

Basically, it occurred to me  that companies have their books audited once a year, but we Christians hardly ever audit our spiritual lives with the same rigor, and that is if we audit them at all! A financial audit is defined as ‘An unbiased examination and evaluation of the financial statements of an organization’. Similarly, I would define a spiritual audit as ‘An unbiased examination and evaluation of your spiritual life’. I hate airy-fairy terms, which invite confusion and speculation, so let me define what I mean by the terms ‘spiritual life’. My spiritual life consists of all those factors that affect me spiritually. When I ask how my spiritual life is doing I’m asking if I am spiritually healthy now (the present), and if the way that I am living my life now is setting me up for future success (the future). Because the physical and the spiritual cannot be separated (for example it would be impossible to split my spirit from my body) – we must necessarily include physical things in the spiritual audit. How I use and manage my time and money have direct implications on my spiritual health. It’s debatable whether that link is causal or if, instead, the way that I use my time and money is simply symptomatic of my existing state of spiritual health. Something to think about but I won’t elaborate on it here.

So I thought of a bunch of questions. The answers to these questions, and the way we answer them (how long it takes, if we get defensive, if we think of excuses etc.) is an indication of the state of our spiritual lives. I wrote this list for myself first and foremost (although I’ve included some questions that obviously don’t apply to me (like for husbands and wives). This is for now, but also for the future. The questions (and the realities they reveal) do not have an expiry date – the factors that affect our spiritual lives may change slightly in shape or form, but their broad outline remains unchanged. So here is my list…if you also want to answer them, take a minute and commit yourself to answering in total truth. I solemnly swear to tell myself the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God! {and on that note, please do help me God!}

Spiritual Audit

GENERAL

  •  Are there any serious disappointments (personal, professional, and spiritual/church) in your life that you have not dealt with?
    • What are they?
    • Why haven’t you dealt with them?
  • Do you prioritise your health? Especially in terms of exercise and diet?

Some statements: (1=strongly disagree, 10=100% agree)

  • I am where I thought I would be at ___ (insert current age)
  • If all areas of my life (especially private) where made public I would not feel ashamed.
  • I am quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1).
  • I willingly submit to my church leaders with joy.
  • I regularly take time out to see the bigger picture.
  • Unbelievers have a big influence on me
  • I have a big influence on unbelievers
  • (for wives) I willingly submit to my husband with joy
    • I understand and support my husband in ways that show my support for Christ (Msg)
  • (for husbands) I willingly lay down my life for my wife, and do it with joy
    • I go all out in my love for my wife (Msg)
  • (If married) I regularly affirm my spouse verbally (in private and in public)
  • (If married) I regularly take time out to spend with my spouse and see the bigger picture
  • (If married) I encourage, uplift and invest in my spouse
  • (If married) I am sometimes harsh with my spouse
  • (If married) I often pray with my spouse

 RELATIONSHIPS/PEOPLE

  •  Are there any unresolved relationship issues that you have with anyone? (believers or unbelievers)
    • If so, have you done everything in your power to rectify that relationship?
    • If you haven’t, why not?
  • How many meaningful and deep relationships do you have with people in your church?
    • Are you making new meaningful and deep relationships?
  • How many meaningful and deep relationships do you have with people outside your church? (especially unsaved).
    • Are you making new meaningful and deep relationships?

Some statements: (1=strongly disagree, 10=100% agree)

  • I often tell my friends how much I appreciate them, and what I appreciate about them.
  • I often tell my family how much I appreciate them, and what I appreciate about them.
  • I make an effort to be friends with people even if I don’t naturally ‘click’ with them.
  • I really care that unbelievers become saved.
  • I prioritize people above everything else in my life (except God)

 TIME

  • What are the three most time-consuming activities in your week?
    • Are they legitimate uses of your time?

Some statements: (1=strongly disagree, 10=100% agree)

  •  I am very disciplined with the way I spend my time.
  • I sleep too much.
  • I am happy with how much dedicated time I spend with God each day.
  • I have a routine that I stick to each week/day.
  • I often make time to spend with people.
  • If someone judged my priorities based on how I spend my time, I think that would be an accurate reflection.

FINANCIAL

  • CS Lewis said ‘If we live at the same level of affluence as others who have our level of income, we are probably giving away too little’. Am I living at the same level of affluence as others (unbelievers) who have my level of income? Am I giving away enough? (what is enough??)
  • Are you currently in debt (other than for a car or house)?
  • Do you spend money before you earn it?
  • Would you say that you are financially responsible?
  • Have all your financial dealings in the past year been entirely above reproach?

Some statements: (1=strongly disagree, 10=100% agree)

  • I believe God would approve of the way I spend my money.
  • I never envy rich people.
  • I feel less attached to money than I did a year ago.
  • I often give more respect to rich people than poor people.
  • Sometimes I think that my problems would go away if I had more money.
  • I think God will bless me financially if I sin less.
  • I often give money to the poor.
  • I am disciplined with my money.
  • I think the poor are poor because they are lazy or don’t have a good work ethic.
  • I think the poor is more the church’s responsibility rather than my responsibility.
  • I am very generous.
  • If someone judged my priorities based on how I spend my money, I think that would be an accurate reflection.

SPIRITUAL STUFF

  • What are your spiritual gifts? (1 Cor 12:1 & Rom 12:6-8)
  • Do you exercise your spiritual gifts? Are you blessing the Church by exercising your gifts?
  • Do you serve in some way in your local church?

Some statements: (1=strongly disagree, 10=100% agree)

  • I think my dreams are important because God can speak to me through dreams.
  •  I can feel (in my spirit) the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • I frequently doubt my spiritual giftings.
  •  I am completely satisfied with my spiritual progress in the last year
  •  I am definitely less proud / arrogant / greedy / selfish / lustful / insecure / angry / depressed  than I was last year. (go through each one)
  •  I am definitely more patient / generous / loving / joyful / kind / gentle / self-controlled / humble / grateful / than I was last year. (go through each one)
  • I have a healthy prayer life.
On a scale of 1-10 (where 10 is excellent and 1 is dismal) how would you rate your spiritual life on the whole?
***THE END***
I think I might ask Oli if we can do this at Lifegroup sometime so any suggestions about questions to add or delete are welcome!

One response to “Spiritual Audit

  1. Abigail Donaldson

    I enjoyed reading this!

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