Great questions to ask yourself as you consider godly change

From the book How People Change by Tim Lane and Ted Tripp

HEAT:  What is your situation?

THORNS:

            Bad Root:  What do you want and believe? (What are your idols?)

            Reap:  What are the consequences?

            Bad Fruit:  How do you react?

CROSS:  Who is God and what does he say and do in Christ?

FRUIT:

            Good Root:  Seek God in repentance and faith

            Reap:  What are the consequences?

            Good Fruit:  Respond with love.

“Take an opportunity to examine yourself in light of these things.  Think first about why suffering tends to surprise us.  Ask yourself, What assumptions do I tend to make about suffering, and how do they increase the pain I experience?  Here are some common false assumptions: 

  1. Do you tend to minimize how painful life can be?

  2. Do you expect life to be free of trouble?  (This often happens when we think we lead a good life compared to others.)   

  3. Do you tend to think of good things and bad things as completely separate experiences?  In reality, difficulty is often hidden in blessing, and blessing is found in difficulty.   

  4. Do you expect the good things you have to be permanent?    

  5. Do you live as if you are invincible, thinking that you will have the wisdom and strength to avoid or endure suffering?  Are you surprised when you don’t?  

  6. Are you trusting your life to modern technology’s apparent ability to protect or rescue us?  (Or your insurance, money, etc.?)    

  7. Do you place undue confidence in your ability to control your life, mistakenly assuming that you can manage your way out of suffering?” “

Where is the Heat in your current situation?  

  1. What pressures do you regularly face?  

  2. What are your God-given opportunities? 

  3. What are your everyday responsibilities?      

  4. Where are you facing difficult circumstances?  

  5. What temptations are you facing?       

  6. Who are the difficult people in your life?          

  7. What unexpected blessings have you received?       

  8. In what situations do you feel alone or misunderstood?   

  9. What challenges does the value system of modern culture present?    

  10. In what areas do you feel overwhelmed by the things “assigned” to you?             (blessing or difficulty?)  

  11. What are the places you are tempted to hide from or avoid?        

  12. What situations tempt you to say you are okay when you are not?     

  13. What is the hardest experience of your past?   

  14. What is your greatest fear about the future?” 

            “What are your Thorns? (Complaining, laziness, anger, envy, lust, bitterness, avoidance, pride, indifference, hard words, blame, judgmental spirit, greed, lack of self-control, and so on.)  

  1. Where do your actions and responses fail to demonstrate the Fruit of faith?  

  2. In your current situation and relationships, how are you responding of faith?

  3. Where are you experiencing the consequences of your responses?

  4. Where have you slacked off?           

  5. When have you given in to anger and envy?           

  6. Where have you quit doing what God says is good?           

  7. To whom have you spoken unkindly?           

  8. Where have you blamed others?           

  9. When have you accused God?           

  10. Are you dealing with your feelings by doing unhealthy things (too much eating, spending, or working; escaping with too much TV or too many novels; too much emphasis on things like clothing, appearance, houses, cars)?”

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