I was cleaning up some files. I found this set of questions and sample answers. It turns out I published them almost a decade ago. Sometime after I published the list, I did some work to offer sample answers from the writings of people in the New Testament, but I never shared it.
I think it’s a useful list as we start the church year and finish the calendar year.
What do I want to finish? Paul wanted the church in Corinth to finish their financial collection:“Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.”
What do I want to change? James suggests “Come near to God and he will come near to you. … Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
What do I want to maintain? (Sometimes you are actually doing fine about some things). “Let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy. Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
What do I want to refine? “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.”
What do I want to stop doing? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
What do I need to do, though wanting has nothing to do with it? “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
What can I finally throw away? “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.”
What do I want to go back to? “You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”