How do we apply the gospel to oursleves? I came across this in an article by Tim Keller. (here) I’m not entirely clear if the method prescribed in the article is from Whitifield himself or comes from Tim Keller. The whole article is well worth reading, but the method is as follows:
Deep humility (vs. pride)
Have I looked down on anyone? Have I been too stung by criticism? Have I felt snubbed and ignored?
Repent like this: Consider the free grace of Jesus until I sense a) decreasing disdain (since I am a sinner too), b) decreasing pain over criticism (since I should not value human approval over God‘s love.) In light of his grace I can let go of the need to keep up a good image-it is too great a burden and now unnecessary. Consider free grace until I experience grateful, restful joy.
Burning love (vs. indifference)
Have I spoken or thought unkindly of anyone? Am I justifying myself by caricaturing (in my mind) someone else? Have I been impatient and irritable? Have I been self-absorbed and indifferent and inattentive to people?
Repent like this: Consider the free grace of Jesus until there is a) no coldness or unkindness (think of the sacrificial love of Christ for you), b) no impatience (think of his patience with you), and c) no indifference. Consider free grace until I show warmth and affection. God was infinitely patient and attentive to me, out of grace.
Wise courage (vs. anxiety)
Have I avoided people or tasks that I know I should face? Have I been anxious and worried? Have I failed to be circumspect or have I been rash and impulsive? Repent like this: Consider the free grace of Jesus until there is a) no cowardly avoidance of hard things (since Jesus faced evil for me), b) no anxious or rash behavior (since Jesus‘ death proves God cares and will watch over me). It takes pride to be anxious – I am not wise enough to know how my life should go. Consider free grace until I experience calm thoughtfulness and strategic boldness.
Godly motivations (a ”single eye‘)
Am I doing what I am doing for God‘s glory and the good of others or am I being driven by fears, need for approval, love of comfort and ease, need for control, hunger for acclaim and power, or the ”fear of man?‘ Am I looking at anyone with envy? Am I giving in to any of even the first motions of lust or gluttony? Am I spending my time on urgent things rather than important things because of these inordinate desires?
Repent like this: How does Jesus provide for me what I am looking for in these other things? Pray: —O Lord Jesus, make me happy enough in you to avoid sin and wise enough in you to avoid danger, that I may always do what is right in your sight, in your name I pray, Amen.”