Counsel: Think and Do List

Counsel: Think and Do List
God gave us the plan by which we can spiritually grow in this life – it is by renewing the mind. Paul records for us,
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2)
He also records,
                  22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt
             according to the deceitful lusts,
             23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:22-24)
The best way is to focus on godly things is as Paul writes,
                  8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are
             just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good
             report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy– meditate on these things.
 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:8-9)
As you focus on Scripture, God begins His spiritual work in your heart,
13 …for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

This “Think and Do List” exercise establishes biblical thinking, especially during times of temptation and circumstances where life-dominating sins can grab hold. It is great for planning ahead with upcoming events of surgery and other health or family issues.  It is an outstanding tool for developing a blameless thought life.  Who doesn’t have trouble with the thought life at times?  How many times have you been dissed (disrespected), and it got under your skin.  You maintained civility, but you were pretty ticked off.  You wanted to either let the person have it…or just avoid them.  You thought about it and couldn’t get your thinking off the person or the subject.  
Fortunately, you realized you weren’t going anywhere just mulling it over and over.  So how do you get your mind on something else?  This “Think and Do List” is an easy tool that anyone can develop to reorient his thinking.

Think and Do List
My temptations and sinful thoughts
What I should be thinking in
this situation?
What should I be doing in this situation?

             In the left column, list times of the day or circumstances when you know you struggle.  Remember that whether it is 5 seconds or 5 hours of sinful thoughts, it’s still sin (Jam. 4:17).  The center column is based on Philippians 4:8 and the specific thoughts that you ought to have in your times of temptation.  This includes specific truths from Scripture that apply and what God says that is true about the circumstance (Ps. 119:9, 105; 1 Cor. 10:13; Phil. 4:8-9; James 1:2-4).  The right column is your plan of action to deal with the situation.  It is not your responsibility to change others or the situation, but to complete your responsibilities (Col. 3:17, 23, 24) and bless others (Rom. 12:9-21; 1 Pet. 3:8-12).
            Our words and actions happen, because they exist in the heart (Matt. 15:18-19).  Renew your thoughts and you’ll renew your words and actions. 
            For additional information, see “Self-Confrontation: A Manual for In-Depth Discipleship” Supplement 9-10, pages 460-465.