Taking Spiritual Inventory

Businesses routinely take inventory of their stock.  They take a measure of what they have or do not have. It is a common practice in business that you must measure something to identify opportunities for improvement.

But how about our lives?

Taking personal inventory

In our busy lives, it is easy to go for long periods without taking a spiritual or life inventory. Businesses that don’t routinely “take stock” of physical assets and finances go out of business before too long. The stakes for our families and us are much higher than any business!

Why take inventory now?

We are not promised long life or health, but as we live, we are building our legacy – how we are known by God and people now, how we will be remembered by those who knew us when we are gone, and what our meeting with Christ will be like.

James 4:14-15
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes…

Proverbs 24:3-4
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

There is no time to waste. We need to take inventory and do it often if we want to improve.

Like Jesus’ question to the man near the Sheep Gate pool – “Do you want to get well?” That is the question to launch our inventory taking.

  • The question does not come from ourselves but from Jesus.
  • We must face the innermost parts of our hearts that beg the question: Do we want to follow Jesus or not?

If the answer is yes, then we have the courage and strength to take stock because we are not doing it alone, but with Jesus, who will give us everything we need to build on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses – to the glory of God!

Make Time, Take Stock

Make a time of several hours where you can assure you will not be interrupted – where you can think, pray, and read. Everyone knows what is most meaningful to take stock of in his or her own life, but if you are having any trouble breaking through the noise, some questions like these might help get the ball rolling.

Relationship with God

  • What victories have I had that I can thank God for?
  • What recent blessings have I received?
  • What have I repented of?
  • How is my daily, hourly walk with Jesus? Do I consider his teachings and examples throughout the day?
  • What Scriptural insights have I gained from my Bible study? Have I applied them?
  • Am I avoiding anything or anyone for any unrighteous reason?
  • How have I been making my decisions? Through Scriptural wisdom and faith, or instinct and fear?

Relationship with your spouse

  • How does the husband lead the family spiritually?
  • How do we love each other?
  • Have we grown spiritually?
  • What victories have we had in our marriage recently?

Relationship with your family

  • How have I led my family spiritually? (Let your family member answer that)
  • What kind of presence am I with them? Do I help them be happy and secure, or does my presence create strife?
  • Do I meet all of their needs? Which ones am I good at meeting, which ones have I not met well, or have they let me know I have not met at all?

Relationship with the church

  • Who have I encouraged lately with Scripture?
  • Who have I drawn closer to this year?
  • Do I have relationships where I can openly share how I am doing – like sharing the results of taking an inventory like this one?

Relationships with people outside the church

  • Who do I rejoice in because they are now faithful?
  • Who am I helping to know God?
  • How much is the lost on my heart or in my prayers?
  • Just what are my convictions about the lost? Do they match Jesus’ convictions, whom I follow?
  • Do I need a motivation check?

Any relationships

  • Who have I served lately according to their needs?
  • Do I love like Jesus?

Work

  • What successes have I had in my work?
  • What is my stock at work as a disciple? Do I strive for excellence because that is how Jesus did everything?
  • Am I using the talents God has given me?

Stewardship

  • Physical belongings (car, house, etc.)
  • Finances
  • Health

Dreams

  • What am I waiting for?
  • Have I committed my dreams to God and been praying for miracles?
  • Do my dreams align with God’s will?
  • What is my plan for failure? – Will it honor God?
  • What is my plan if I am successful? – Will it honor God?

Conclusion

Once you have taken stock, measuring both strengths and weaknesses, blessings and needs, you must come up with a faithful plan of action committed to God.

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Brothers, as a brother who needs to do this just as much as anyone else, I lovingly challenge everyone to do something like this, deeply connecting with God in the process and faithfully expecting God to work in transformative, miraculous ways in your life as a result!

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