A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual
challenge to them:
1. Materialism. 2. Pride. 3. Self-centeredness. 4. Laziness. 5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.
5. (Tie) Sexual lust. 7. Envy. 8.
Gluttony. 9. Lying.
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their
time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting
temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76
percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52
Discipleship Journal, November / December 1992.
In Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald suggests twenty-six questions to help
develop accountability and invite feedback. If we desire to grow, we should submit our
selves to a spiritual mentor and answer these questions honestly.
1. How is your relationship with God right now?
2. What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
3. What has God said to you in this reading?
4. Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?
5. What specific things are you praying for in regard to yourself?
7. What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?
8. What habits intimidate you?
9. What have you read in the secular press this week?
10. What general reading are you doing?
11. What have you done to play?
12. How are you doing with your spouse? Kids?
13. If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of
energy level, what would the response be?
14. Are you sensing spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
15. If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how
might he do it?
16. What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies?
17. Where are you financially right now? (things under control? under anxiety? in great
18. Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
19. When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?
20. What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this month?
21. What challenges do you think you're going to face in the coming week? Month?
22. What would you say are your fears at this present time?
23. Are you sleeping well?
24. What three things are you most thankful for?
25. Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
26. What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?
Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989,
But too often we confuse love with permissiveness. It is not love to fail to dissuade
another believer from sin any more than it is love to fail to take a drink away from an
alcoholic or matches away from a baby. True fellowship out of love for one another demands
John Wesley was so concerned with building a righteous fellowship that he devised a
series of questions for his followers to ask each other every week. Some found this
rigorous system of inquiry too demanding and left. Today, the very idea of such a
procedure would horrify many churchgoers. Yet some wisely follow just such a practice.
Chuck Swindoll for example, has seven questions that he and a group of fellow pastors
challenge each other with periodically:
1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as
2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
5. Have you given priority time to your family?
6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
7. Have you just lied to me?
C. Colson, The Body.
My greatest thought is my accountability to God.