An intention audit.

Over the weekend, I had some friends do an exercise. We were talking about living like Jesus. I asked them to make some lists.

  • List the last five television programs you watched.
  • List the last five conversations you had.
  • List what you read the last time you spent fifteen minutes reading.
  • List the last five people you helped.
  • Outline the last 15 minutes you spent online or listening to the radio.
  • List the last $150 you spent.

Now, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which of those actions clearly bothers God?
    (Not some standard of measuring up to what God wants, mind you. So the best way to figure out this one is probably to ask him: “Does it bother you when I watch this?” (We’d ask a friend sitting on the sofa next to us, right?) “When I talk with that person, and we talk about that subject, I bet it gets on your nerves, doesn’t it. Sorry. I never thought of it that way.”)
  • Which of that content clearly disagrees with God? (Sometimes it takes discernment. Sometimes, it just takes thinking about it for a second.)
  • What about those uses of time would you like to change? (I bet you think that I’m being critical. But I’m not. Maybe you want to do more of something rather than less.)
  • Which of those choices reflect habits that could be refined. (We’ve talked before about the idea of growing, of taking intentional steps to improve. What habits do you want to be better in?
  • Which of those actions was the result of choices to follow Jesus that you made sometime in the past? (What if we actually are making decisions that reflect decisions Jesus would make? What if we are making progress?)

Want encouragement? You can still write the list for the next week.

4 thoughts on “An intention audit.

  1. Mimi Meredith

    I think figuring out what earthly tv choices might bother God is tricky…for more reasons than there’s room in this comment box to explain. But I do know when I glorify Him. I just know down to the core of my being when I get a “Yes! Good One!” out of my Heavenly Father. So I think easier questions for such a divine conversation would be, “does this choice glorify you? does it lift up your children? does it equip me to be a better vessel?”

    I love this exercise! Thank you, as always.


  2. Scott

    Really loved you taking the time to put some practical steps to interrupt the “habitual and non-thought-through” way of living that I find myself in so often. Regardless of how someone takes the answers and uses them to engage the Lord, just the fact that they engage Him in the process is a huge win…

    well done!


  3. Brother Gogo

    I fear I have to disagree with Mimi.

    I don’t think it’s tricky at all for a person to have “their own” opinion on which of “their” viewing choices bothers God. It either does or it doesn’t…in their own opinion.

    But great questions from Mimi, and great post from you Jon. Thanks for sharing this.


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