"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." - Romans 12:2 NLT
Thoughts for Today
One road sign--or symptom--of a developing life-controlling problem is a growing anticipation of a behavioral practice or substance, leading to preoccupation. On the job, while driving or during the daily routine, thoughts turn to a substance or behavior. The substance could be alcohol, drugs or food. The behavior might involve pornography, illicit sex, gambling--or even common things like shopping or working, which can become an obsession.
Here are some indicators of preoccupation:
- The mind is increasingly filled with thoughts of the substance or behavior.
- Vacation times and other recreation are planned around the substance or behavior.
- There is a growing need for the substance/behavior in times of stress.
Consider this …
During times when there is not much else going on, do you find yourself thinking about and planning a time when you'll be able to use or practice? Have you ever found yourself planning a vacation or everyday leisure on the basis of how it would serve the need of your life-controlling problem?
Are you willing to ask God to transform the way you think?
Father, I know I've been thinking about this thing altogether too often. I didn't want to admit that it's beginning to control my life … but if I'm honest with myself and you, I realize I have a problem. Please forgive me and help me begin to refocus on you and your Word. Transform the way I think and help me become the person you want me to be. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from … Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.
- It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
- It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
- It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
- It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
- It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
- It helps prepare people to minister to others.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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