“Let every man examine himself….” (I Corinthians 11:28). The women too.
Toward the end of each issue, Vanity Fair magazine interviews some celebrity. The questions they pose are good ones. Consider answering them for yourself.
Here are the questions in the September 2017 issue–
–What is your idea of perfect happiness?
–What is your favorite journey?
–What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
–On what occasion do you lie?
–What do you dislike most about your appearance?
–Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
–What do you consider your greatest achievement?
–What is your greatest regret?
–What is your current state of mind?
–If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
–Where would you like to live?
–What is your most marked characteristic?
–What do you value most in your friends?
–Who are your favorite writers?
–Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
–How would you like to die?
–What is your motto?
Some thoughts on interviewing yourself…
–First, it’s a good thing to find out how well you know yourself. Men, more than women, are not typically used to analyzing what’s going on inside themselves. And no one is suggesting you become addicted to this. But it’s good to stop once in a while and take stock of things. Try it.
–Do not publish your interview. Even though this is my website–I pay for it annually (seriously) and I can put most anything on here I wish–to do this would be an exercise in ego. So, I’ll not be doing it and I suggest you not either.
–Even so, take the interview. Then, share it with your spouse and suggest that he/she take it also. Then, compare answers.
–Write serious answers. I know, I know–when you are asked, “Where would you like to live?” the tendency is to say, “Right here. I love where I live.” But play the game. Think about your ideal happy place.
–Then, file this away and come back in a year and do it again. Again, compare your answers.
I will, however, answer a couple of the less invasive questions…
—What do I most value in my friends? I’ve actually noticed a trend in the men I choose as my best friends. That list includes Don Davidson, Jim Graham, and Chet Griffin. (Since first writing this, I’ve thought of others to add to the list. But I won’t.) They all have several things in common: They are solidly Christian, even though only Don is a preacher. They are well married and I dearly love their families. Each of the men is smarter than me (smile, please) and each is a deep thinker. They love people, like to go places and do things, and an hour of conversation with any of them is just about the most delightful thing I can imagine. They are each the silent type (as opposed to the loquacious moi!), they are readers, and they laugh a lot. Each has a world of friends, of whom I feel honored to be one.
—What is my current state of mind? I’m happy to announce that I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I’ve told my children, I have zero stress in my life. No stress about health or relationships or finances or fears. It’s wonderful. At the age of 77, I still get to go places and preach the gospel of Jesus, and I get invited to sit in rooms and sketch hundreds of people. And often they pay me for it. And some pay very well indeed.
You’re looking at one blessed man. Thank you, my Lord and Savior.
Now, could we come up with a similar but better list of interview questions, a list that covers spiritual and godly values? Try it.
–If you had to identify the two people who contributed most to your spiritual life, who would they be and why?
–What was the best sermon you heard in the last year? (If you are a pastor, what was the best sermon you preached?)
–What is the nicest thing anyone ever did for you?
–Which sin in other people do you find hardest to forgive?
–If money were no problem, what do you wish your church would do next year?
–If you had ten million dollars, would you quit your job? If so, what would you do then? (Your answer may indicate why the Lord is not giving you sudden wealth! Smile, please.)
–Outside of the Bible, what is the single most important piece of writing (article, letter, book) you have ever read?
If I were a pastor looking for material to challenge my people, say on a Wednesday night, I would choose one of the above questions–or one of my own–and toss it out for discussion. None of these are invasive or too personal and each is thought-provoking. You could use that as a springboard into your Bible study on a related subject.