Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How People Change -- XRAY QUESTIONS, pt. 1


While on vacation last week, I finished up How People Change, the most recent offering by Paul David Tripp and Timothy Lane. This book gives a great overview of how change happens from a biblical perspective.

One moving part of the book was this part found on pp.162ff. Here is how they lead into it:
"An essential element of growing in grace is a willingness to look at what fuels the ungodly responses in your life. 'Purify your hearts,' says James. Look at what you've allowed to become more attractive to you than the Lord. 'Wash your hands,' he continues. Exchange your sinful responses for godly ones. It is all by grace, but that does not mean we are passive! Christian growth is warfare. It is worth doing the hard work of discovering what leads us away from this glorious God.

"The questions that follow can help you do this more effectively. Repentance is not true repentance unless it is specific and intelligent. We don't sin in the abstract; we sin in concrete, particular ways. Since that is true, we need to take an honest look at our lives -- both heart and behavior. Spiritual awareness is a blessing. Through it we can experience change. Use these questions to turn away from idols and turn to the mercy and power of Christ. As you do, don't forget that you are married to Christ. His assets are your assets. Your sin has been dealt with at the Cross and you don't have to be afraid to take a good look at yourself!

X-Ray Questions (originally formulated by David Powlison in his course Dynamics of Biblical Change and used in the book by his permission)

1) What do you love? Is there something you love more than God or your neighbor?

2) What do you want? What do you desire? What do you crave, long for, wish? Whose desires do you obey?

3) What do you seek? What are your personal expectations and goals? What are your intentions? What are you working for?

4) Where do you bank your hopes? WHat hope are you working toward or building your life around?

5) What do you fear? Fear is the flip side of desire. For example, if I desire your acceptance, then I fear your rejection.

6) What do you feel like doing? This is a synonym for desire. Sometimes we feel like eating a gallon of ice cream, or staying in bed, or refusing to talk, etc.

7) What do you think you need? In most cases a person's felt needs picture his or her idol cravings. Often what we have called necessities are actually deceptive masters that rule our hearts. They control us because they seem plausible. They don't seem so bad on the surface and it isn't sin to want them. However, I must not be ruled by the "need" to feel good about myself, to feel loved and accepted, to feel some sense of accomplishment, to have financial security, to experience good health, to live a life that is organized, pain-free, and happy.

8) WHat are your plans, agendas, strategies, and intentions designed to accomplish? What are you really going after in the situations and relationships of life? What are you really working to get?

9) WHat makes you tick? What sun does your planet revolve around? Where do you find your garden of delight? What lights up your world? What food sustains your life? What really matters to you? What are you living for?

10) Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, and escape? When you are fearful, discouraged, and upset, where do you run? Do you run to God for comfort and safety or to something else? (To food, to others, to work, to solitude?)

11) What do you trust? Do you functionally rest in the Lord? Do you find your sense of well-being in His presence and promises? Or do you rest in something or someone else?

(more to come later...)

1 comment:

jmark said...

Hi there;

I've just read the book too and preached a serrmon today on the ideas in it. Thanks for typing up the x-ray questions - I was really hoping someone out there would have done it - I wanted to print them out and give them to the congregation