Today I want to dive into our first renewing of the mind tool. It’s called truth journaling, and many of you are already familiar with this tool from my Bible Study Freedom from Emotional Eating.
Truth journaling is a practice that sprang out of a little self-improvement project I started ten years ago. I was trying to get over a nasty habit I had of dwelling on my husband’s faults and, true to form, I was trying to change myself in my own strength.
My idea was to think positive. Every time I had a negative thought about him, I would write it down and replace it with a positive thought. It didn’t take me long to realize that many of my negative thoughts were actually lies.
I switched to replacing lies with truth, and I called it truth journaling.
God has used this discipline to transform me in more ways than I can name. Not just in habits and negative emotions, but also in my feelings towards Him. Truth journaling is what got me excited about spending time with God and delving into His Word. I’m hoping it will do as much for you as it did for me.
How to Truth Journal
In a nutshell, this is how you truth journal:
- Write out your thoughts. Don’t take time to think, just spill them out.
- Go back and number each sentence.
- Then look at each sentence – one at a time – to see if it’s a lie or truth.
- If it’s true, write true. If it’s false or only half-true, rewrite it so it’s all the way true.
Here’s an example of what this looks like in real life with eating: Alone in the House with Ice Cream and Rhubarb Bars. With writing: Getting Back on Track. And with relationships: What if you Can’t “Just Get Over It”?
If you want to see more examples, I have all kinds of examples at my old blog under the truth journaling category.
Truth journaling is the practical application of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 which talks about taking each thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. Each sentence is a thought and when you look at that sentence to see whether or not it’s true, you’re actually taking that thought captive to Christ.
It’s a physical taking off of the lies and putting on of the truth just like we talked about in the Renovation of the Mind post. And the interesting thing is that it actually changes our desires. More on that in another post.
If you’re already familiar with truth journaling and want to get started right away, you can either do it in your journal or print out a Truth Lie Chart (click on Truth Lie Chart) to use.
P.S. Here are a few other article on truth journaling:
Click here for Truth Journaling: the List Method (a different way to truth journal).
Click here for How to Truth Journal.
Click here for a video on truth journaling.
I re-read your blog – it never even occured to me to truth journal prior to…. well, to truth journal the thought. I always truth journal after I had already done something. And then you brought up a good point too: Start working on your emotions. If you only journal about the food, you’ll be in danger of turning to some other bad habit to escape your emotions… yes, very true. I’ll sometimes lie to myself that I conquered that lie – but instead went to consuming my thought with mindless internet browsing instead of dealing with the emotion.
Yes, it’s always better to truth journal before we give into temptation but at least for me, I don’t always have enough self-control to truth journal before. If I have enough control, before is always best because it makes me not want to do my temptation and I don’t do it. But if I don’t have enough control, I do it afterwards because that will still help me change my thinking for the next time I’m tempted. And yes, it’s so easy to turn to things other than God for help. I too struggle with mindless internet browsing – it’s a constant temptation as a writer because you’re always on the computer and it’s easier than writing – and every time I do it, I know I’m missing out on going to God for help (and He’s a much better helper than the internet).
Dan Black says
Since we live in a world of in perfect people, who make mistakes, we could all benefit from having a truth journal for the relationships we have. To intentionally forgive and think positively toward the person is so important. Its essential in building and maintaining a positive relationship. Great post!!!
I am SO glad I stumbled upon your blog Barb! You have such a wealth of wisdom … I am new to truth journalling but it is such a practical and great way to take my mind captive, and I find it easier to do it by journalling rather than in my mind. Thank you so much for pushing through your doubts to share these great words of wisdom … they will change many lives!
Barb Raveling says
Hi Sam! Thanks for commenting. I’m so glad you’ve found the blog helpful and also truth journaling – I know it can be a hard habit to get started but so life changing when it happens. So glad to hear that you’re doing it!