"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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