The new “Transform Your Thoughts Journal” is a simple, effective, and biblical way of journaling your thoughts. As you change your thoughts, you change your heart and your life.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to part of the thought journal I developed for my counselees. You are welcome to download the article and the journaling pages. Next week you’ll find “Transform Your Thoughts Journal” under the “For Counselors” tab at my website: LucyAnnMoll.com.
Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Romans 12:2a, NLT
Transform Your Thoughts Journal shows you how to replace life-sapping thoughts with uplifting, God-honoring thoughts. As the Holy Spirit transforms your thoughts, four things happen. You’ll–:
- Become aware of life-sapping, ungodly thoughts.
- See a connection among your thoughts, emotions, and actions.
- Exchange uplifting, God-honoring thoughts for ungodly thoughts.
- Experience better emotions and actions.
Your Thoughts Reveal Your Heart
Hand in hand with thought transformation are these two truths:
- Your thoughts flow from your heart, which is the seat of your deepest desires.
- A healthy heart is Christ-centered; an unhealthy heart is me-centered.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7, NKJV
Your heart reflects what is within you. It exposes your deepest desires.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45, NIV
From your heart flow your thoughts, emotions, and actions. The influence of your heart on your thoughts-emotions-actions is powerful. A healthy heart is Christ-centered and has healthy, godly thoughts. An unhealthy heart is me-centered and has unhealthy, ungodly thoughts.
Your thoughts become part of your beliefs which form your desires. Your beliefs remain until new thoughts challenge them, and new beliefs result. Thought transformation is NOT behavior modification; it is renewal of your core BELIEF system. Click & Tweet!
Are you seeing the importance of thought transformation? And how your heart exposes your deepest desires?
How to Use the Journal
First, describe a difficult circumstance. Ask, what was going on? Here is an example.
“My husband and I have argued a lot ever since our teen got new, sketchy friends and began using marijuana and drinking alcohol.” This is the description of the circumstance.
Next, write your thoughts, emotions, and resulting actions. You may think your emotions come first. Thoughts do. Emotions and actions follow thoughts.
Your journal might look like this:
|“I’m a horrible mother.”||Anger, fear, sadness||Yelled at teen. Took away her phone. Cried.|
Now select a real circumstance from your own life and try it yourself. You’ll benefit the most when you actually do the work of thought journaling. Reading about it isn’t enough. You need to learn this method. The best way: do it..
Below is a blank “page” for you to get used to this new method. hen you’ll get to move on to Part 2 of thought journaling. In Part 2 you’ll learn how to replace life-sapping thoughts with uplifting, God-honoring thoughts.
Difficult Circumstance (i.e., what was going on?): ___________________________________________________________________________________
How did Part 1 go? Were you able to select a difficult circumstance and identify your thoughts, emotions, and actions? Your have started to become aware of your life-sapping thoughts and see a connection between them and your emotions and actions. This is a big step in the right direction!
Before you hop into Part 2 and exchange life-sapping thoughts for uplifting, God-honoring thoughts, would you mind doing a warm up?
Think of a happy circumstance in your life and jot it down. Then identify your thoughts, emotions, and actions that naturally flow from it. Did you notice that from a happy circumstance naturally flowed positive thoughts, positive emotion, and positive actions? The happy thoughts, emotions, and actions flowed naturally from a happy circumstance.
But real life has twists, turns, and potholes, doesn’t it? Your car breaks down during your vacation, your child is cut from the team, you get laid off. How do you conjure up happy thoughts in difficult circumstances?
In your own power you cannot. In God’s power, you can find supernatural peace and contentment, calm and happiness. He gives you everything you need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). The apostle James writes,
“Count it all joy, my brothers and sister, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4, ESV)
Turn Your Thoughts Around
Christians are joyful because we are saved and God is using your difficult circumstances to transform you into the image of Jesus Christ. Dr. Frank Crane, minister and essayist, wrote, “Growth is God’s plan.”
Try to think of your difficulties as growth opportunities. Now let’s turn your thoughts around.
In Part 2 of thought transformation you’ll see how to exchange a life-sapping thoughts for uplifting God-honoring thoughts. Let’s start with the “I’m a horrible mother” thought. The circumstance remains the same. You and your husband are arguing a lot ever since your teen began using marijuana and drinking alcohol with her sketchy friends. This was your primary thought, emotion, and action.
Ask if your thought is true. Is it a fact that you are a horrible mother? Click & Tweet! Chances are, you are a loving, stressed-out mom who feels scared, angry, and overwhelmed, searching for solutions to help your teen.
However, if your thought is true and you are a horrible mother – perhaps you consistently neglect your daughter or you consistently slice and dice her with jagged words, then confess your wrongdoing to the Lord and to your daughter, and repent.
Replace the life-sapping lie “I’m a horrible mother” with an uplifting biblical truth such as, “Even though my daughter’s choice to do drugs upsets me, God promises that he is with me, guides me, and comforts me. He is trustworthy.”
Begin your new thought with something like, “Even though _________________,
God promises __________________________________________.New emotions and actions replace your old emotions and actions. Click & Tweet!
Here’s what it looks like:
|NEW THOUGHTS||NEW EMOTIONS||NEW ACTIONS|
|Even though my teen has made poor choices, God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it and to be with my family and me.||Peace, hope||With your spouse, pray and ask God for wisdom.
Transforming your thoughts is absolutely necessary to live the Christian life!
Friend, if this tool helps you, may I encourage you to subscribe to my blog so you can get updates, new material, and a free eBook: Putting Your Past in the Past. . .and Keeping It There? Thanks!
Sharing hope with your heart,