wesleys questions
Part of John Wesley’s genius, as the founder of the Methodist Movement, was the way he organized to make disciples. He established small groups everywhere he went. When these small groups met, they would go through a list of questions at each meeting. The questions were designed to guide the group members into a deeper walk with God.

Here is the 20th question:
20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?

Part of John Wesley’s genius, as the founder of the Methodist Movement, was the way he organized to make disciples. He established small groups everywhere he went. When these small groups met, they would go through a list of questions at each meeting. The questions were designed to guide the group members into a deeper walk with God.

Here is the 20th question:
20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?

Tempting as it is to answer this question with present circumstances in mind (I am writing this less than a week after Election Day 2016), the question deserves a different answer than that.

It would be easy to write pages on the present un-ease. Many would let me get away with claims like “it’s never been this bad!” or “this was the meanest presidential campaign ever!”

Constant grumbling and complaining is warranted, some would say, if times are really this bad!

But I think what Wesley is getting at with this question is more about character than current events. If we allow circumstances to determine our identity – whether or not we are grumblers and complainers – we run the risk of finding ourselves grumbling and complaining even when times are good. There is, after all, always something that isn’t quite right, that could be better.

The writer of Hebrews likened our lives to a race – which we are to run with perseverance. James adds this, in the matter of perseverance: Let this endurance complete its work so that you may be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing. (James 1:4)

We become fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing not by complaining and grumbling, but by learning to endure.