From the book How People Change by Tim Lane and Ted Tripp

 

HEAT:  What is your situation?

THORNS:

            Bad Root:  What do you want and believe? (What are your idols?)

            Reap:  What are the consequences?

            Bad Fruit:  How do you react?

CROSS:  Who is God and what does he say and do in Christ?

FRUIT:

            Good Root:  Seek God in repentance and faith

            Reap:  What are the consequences?

            Good Fruit:  Respond with love.

“Take an opportunity to examine yourself in light of these things.  Think first about why suffering tends to surprise us.  Ask yourself, What assumptions do I tend to make about suffering, and how do they increase the pain I experience?  Here are some common false assumptions: 

  • Do you tend to minimize how painful life can be?
  • Do you expect life to be free of trouble?  (This often happens when we think we lead a good life compared to others.)   
  • Do you tend to think of good things and bad things as completely separate experiences?  In reality, difficulty is often hidden in blessing, and blessing is found in difficulty.   
  • Do you expect the good things you have to be permanent?    
  • Do you live as if you are invincible, thinking that you will have the wisdom and strength to avoid or endure suffering?  Are you surprised when you don’t?  
  • Are you trusting your life to modern technology’s apparent ability to protect or rescue us?  (Or your insurance, money, etc.?)    
  • Do you place undue confidence in your ability to control your life, mistakenly assuming that you can manage your way out of suffering?” “

Where is the Heat in your current situation?  

  • What pressures do you regularly face?  
  • What are your God-given opportunities? 
  • What are your everyday responsibilities?      
  • Where are you facing difficult circumstances?  
  • What temptations are you facing?       
  • Who are the difficult people in your life?          
  • What unexpected blessings have you received?       
  • In what situations do you feel alone or misunderstood?   
  • What challenges does the value system of modern culture present?    
  • In what areas do you feel overwhelmed by the things “assigned” to you?             (blessing or difficulty?)  
  • What are the places you are tempted to hide from or avoid?        
  • What situations tempt you to say you are okay when you are not?     
  • What is the hardest experience of your past?   
  • What is your greatest fear about the future?” 

            “What are your Thorns? (Complaining, laziness, anger, envy, lust, bitterness, avoidance, pride, indifference, hard words, blame, judgmental spirit, greed, lack of self-control, and so on.)  

  • Where do your actions and responses fail to demonstrate the Fruit of faith?  
  • In your current situation and relationships, how are you responding of faith?
  • Where are you experiencing the consequences of your responses?
  • Where have you slacked off?           
  • When have you given in to anger and envy?           
  • Where have you quit doing what God says is good?           
  • To whom have you spoken unkindly?           
  • Where have you blamed others?           
  • When have you accused God?           
  • Are you dealing with your feelings by doing unhealthy things (too much eating, spending, or working; escaping with too much TV or too many novels; too much emphasis on things like clothing, appearance, houses, cars)?”
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