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TWELVE QUESTIONS TO KEEP YOUR PERSONAL ACCOUNTS IN ORDER

Based on an article by Fred Smith in Leadership Magazine, Winter 1998. The concept found in this article has been adapted and expanded for use in the Couples In Christ class at Sunrise Community Church in Fair Oaks, CA by Dan and Trisha Kinnoin.

Introduction 

When I read this article in March of 1998 I immediately identified with the author's desire to establish a practical list of questions structured to check up on his spiritual health. As his CEO friend said, 

and quot;I have a CPA to keep me liquid, a lawyer to keep me legal, and a doctor to keep me healthy. But I have no one to help assess my spiritual condition. Can you give me a and quot;spiritual audit?and quot;

Trisha and I have endeavored to tailor the audit that Fred Smith developed to fit our lives, and would like to share these somewhat modified guidelines with you. 

WARM-UP Exercise 

I recently had my accountant prepare a Balance Sheet for my company. This financial statement has essentially two components: Assets and Liabilities. Just for fun, let's see what it would look like if we changed the entries. 

Fill in the and quot;Spiritual Balance Sheetand quot; on the following page to reflect what you consider to be a healthy spiritual condition for your life. This should reflect a report that you think God (your CEO) would be pleased to receive. 

As you begin this exercise, see 1 Cor. 2:11-16 for the qualities of a and quot;spiritual manand quot;. He is one who is:

L and T by the Spirit; and can S , S , and U all things. Unbelievers and worldly-minded Christians cannot understand him.

  SPIRITUAL BALANCE SHEET Different for each person   ASSETS Invest in Eternal Things

Cash (things you possess that are valuable to God)

bulletTime spent with others bulletRelationship with my spouse bulletRelationship with my children 

Contract Receivable (anticipated return on my investment in eternal things)

bulletMind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) bulletGod's Promises (2 Peter 2:4) 

Property and Equipment (things that I manage for the Lord)

bulletPossessions bulletResources bulletGifts bulletTime 

Other Assets (special opportunities that God has given me; ways that He has equipped me)

bulletSpiritual Gifts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23); prophecy, service, teaching, encouragement, giving, leading, mercy (Rom. 12:6-8)

LIABILITIES Prov. 3:27, and quot;Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.and quot;

Current Liabilities (things that I owe and should pay NOW, because of what I have received)

bulletPut God FIRST in my life. bulletTithe bulletWhatever God's Spirit prompts me to do! 

Long-term Liabilities (things that I could never give enough of)

bulletExercise Faith (Heb. 11:6) bulletRejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks (1 Thes. 5:16-18 bulletDo good (Gal. 6:9); bear on another's burdens (Gal. 6:2) 

Owner's Equity (things I choose to give to God, as my special offering to Him) Do your Assets equal your Liabilities? If not, you should re-balance your life!   and quot;And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required....and quot; (Luke 12:48)  

1.  Am I content with whom I am becoming?

and quot;Every day I get one day closer to who I will ultimately be. Am I satisfied with who this will be?and quot; - Fred Smith  

Trisha and I have arrived at an interesting, introspective point in our journey as parents. Eric is gone - graduated, employed, and moved into his own abode; he will be married in July, and will likely have his own children one day. Cami will soon depart for the summer, followed by life in the dorms as a college student in Southern California. As parents, we look back and say, and quot;Where did the time go? How did we do? Do we get any more chances?and quot;  

As a husband I'm now looking back over 27 years of marriage. I have some regrets, and I have many satisfied memories. And yet I ask myself, and quot;Why didn't you take more time away from less important things and spend it with Trisha?and quot;  

As a businessman I'm completing my 21st year and quot;on my ownand quot;. My company will accept as many hours of my time as I am willing to spend. I have regrets of spending too many hours there.  

As a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ I can look back over 35 years of following Him. I want to ask Him, and quot;How am I doing, Lord?and quot;, and hope that He will say, and quot;Well done, good and faithful servantand quot;.  

Here are some ways that I can evaluate who I am becoming:  

bulletWho are the important people in my life?

How are these people doing relative to walking closely with the Lord? As someone has asked, and quot;Did they finish strong?and quot; 

bulletIs my work threatening to consume me as a person? How am I handling this pressure?

and quot;It's important that we be more than we do or have.and quot; - Fred Smith 

bulletAm I insisting on being in control? Fred Smith again offers a wise perspective,

and quot;As we grow older, we must move from power to wisdom. Those who try to hold power too long are resented. Even parents who try to hold power over their children lose the love of their children. However, when we are able to give up power at the right time and become a wisdom figure, then we are useful, honored, and kept in the mainstream.and quot;  

and quot;Am I moving from power and becoming a person of wisdom?and quot;

Dan Kinnoin has had tendency to take on more control, not less. Giving up power and attaining wisdom is an important lesson for me. How about you?

2.  Am I becoming less religious and more spiritual?

3.  Does my family recognize the authenticity of my spirituality?  

4.  Do I have a flow-through philosophy?  

5.  Do I have a quiet center to my life?  

6.  Hive I defined my unique ministry?

7.  Is my prayer life improving?

8.  Have I maintained a genuine awe of God?  

9.  Is my humility genuine?  

10.  Is my and quot;spiritual feedingand quot; the right diet for me?

11.  Is obedience to small matters built into my reflexes?  

12.  Do I have joy?  

My Motive?