In my last post I said I would give you a renewing of the mind challenge for the emotions, so I thought I better get that challenge going! Here's the challenge: to choose one emotion or situation and commit to renewing your mind every time you experience that emotion or situation for the next two weeks. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Choose an emotion or situation that doesn't occur more than once or twice a day. For example, if you tend to be an easily annoyed person and you want to work on anger, just choose one person to journal about, preferably one that you get mad at often enough to journal about, but not so often that you'll have to spend the whole day journaling about them!
2. Commit to journaling as soon as possible after you experience the emotion, but for sure you before you go to bed that night. If you wait until the next morning two things will happen. First, you'll have a hard time remembering the thoughts that led to your negative emotion, and second, there's a good chance you'll wake up thinking, "Oh, that wasn't such a big deal. I think I'll just forget it." And then you will. Without journaling!
3. Try different ways to renew your mind to see if one works better for you than another.
4. Try to come to a point of peace each time you renew your mind. If you don't, there's a good chance you haven't yet accepted what you need to accept to find peace. Option charts always seem to make it easier for me to accept what I need to accept.
5. Don't expect it to be easy. Think of how many times Jesus had to go back to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane to line up His will with the Father's will. He didn't just say a quick little prayer and then force Himself to go to the cross. He really worked to bring His heart in line with the Father's heart. Yes, our trials are much smaller than His, but shouldn't we give the same diligence to lining up our will with the Father's?
6. Before you begin your challenge, get a notebook ready, preferably one you can tear the pages out of. That way if you write something you don't want anyone to read, you can tear it out, crumple it up, and even hide it underneath a banana peel in the garbage can if it's really bad!
7. Sometimes after I journal, especially in a situation where I'm not feeling loved, I like to listen to praise music and think of how much God loves me. I lie on the couch, close my eyes, and worship God. I often feel very cherished by Him during those times--and it always makes me feel like it was worth giving up whatever I needed to give up for Him.
Well, that's about all the tips I can think of. From my experience it takes about six to eight weeks to really have lasting results, but if you do it for two weeks the peace you enjoy may be enough to motivate you to do it another four weeks!