As the last month of the year begins today, allow me to share one of my end-of-year traditions. Although I do this regularly, I especially look forward to doing it as one year closes and another begins. What is it? A spiritual inventory.

Some will write (as we’ve already done in this week’s Celebrate Kids email newsletter) that the focus this month should be on Jesus and not decorating, shopping, making more and better cookies than our neighbor, or whatever you and your family get caught up in.

What if I suggest that our life’s focus should be Jesus? Let’s get our focus correct this month and continue it into 2012. He doesn’t just want to be our priority this month, but every day of every month.

To assess how I’m doing, I ask and answer the questions that follow. They come from various inventories and from my awareness of my own tendencies and what to be alert to. Use them if they appear complete for you and your situation. If not, adjust the list so you’re appropriately challenged to grow. And, how about helping children and teens use these, too? Imagine! To God be the glory!

  1. Do I know God better? Do I love Him more? Do I trust Him more?
  2. Is the Word of God refreshing to my soul? Do I know more of it? Do I willingly prioritize reading it, studying it, and meditating on it?
  3. Am I less attracted to the world now than I was before?
  4. Do I have a greater desire to do the will of God? Do I earnestly desire what God wants for me or do I want my own way?
  5. Do I present the Gospel when the Spirit prompts me to?
  6. Am I more disciplined? Do I more quickly recognize sin as sin and turn from it?
  7. When God chastens me, what’s my attitude? Do I choose to see God’s loving care for me?
  8. Am I more focused on pleasing God than people? Do I regularly respond to people as Christ would?
  9. Do I appropriately prioritize fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ?
  10. Are my times of worship rich, regular, personal, and meaningful? Do I generously and sacrificially give back to God?
  11. Do I pray confidently and expectantly? Do I wait for and recognize God’s answers? Am I appropriately grateful for all God is and does?
  12. Do I honor the Sabbath?