Ed Koch passed away on February 1st of this year.  During his life, Mr. Koch wore a lot of hats.  He is probably best known as mayor of New York City, the office he held from 1969 to 1977.

Whether one appreciated his political leanings or not, it had to be admitted that he had a unique political style.  New Yorkers were not totally surprised to find their mayor riding on one of the subways with them or standing on a street corner conversing with the “ordinary people” of the city.

He had a famous question when he found himself in those kinds of settings.  He’d ask those around him, “How’m I doin’?”

Admittedly, that was not the most scientific political poll ever conducted, but it was Mr. Koch’s way of getting feedback from at least some of his constituents.  It may also help to explain the fact that, when he ran for reelection the first time, he was endorsed by both the Democratic and the Republican parties.  It may also be a factor in explaining why he won that election with 75% of the vote and his second reelection bid with 78% of the vote.

I am not at all suggesting that Christians should ask Mr. Koch’s question to their neighbors, friends, or even fellow Christians.  For one thing, there may be as many responses as there are respondents.  Instead of getting helpful information, we may be getting more and more confused.

It also needs to be remembered that the Holy Spirit warns against using the opinions of others to measure our spirituality.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Cor. 10:12, KJV).

However, there may, in fact, be a way to use Mr. Koch’s question in a positive way.  This may be done by considering a couple of other verses in 2 Corinthians.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10, KJV).

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves… (2 Cor. 13:5, KJV).

When I pause to remember who the real judge is, I should be prompted to do some real self-examination.  I should be willing to humbly search His will for my life.  In light of that will, I should be willing to honestly ask myself, “How’m I doin’?”


–Jim Faughn