Mark 7:21-23; Luke 6:45; Acts 14:2; 15:24; Galatians 3:1; Psalm 19:14; Colossians 3:1-17; Philippians 4:8
God is deeply concerned about our thoughts, for it is in the mind that life’s important battles are won or lost.
Bibles, 3x5-inch index cards (one for each person), paper, pens, pencils
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Have you ever “stuck your foot in your mouth”? If you feel comfortable, describe a time you said something you later regretted (it doesn’t need to be something big).
- As you listen to others in the group, ask yourself, “Why does this happen? What is really happening in our minds? Are these ‘accidental words’ based on something we really believe?”
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Our thoughts influence our lives more than we might
realize. How do you want to think? On a piece of paper, draw a simple profile
of your head. Inside the brain area, write six words that describe the things
you would like to think about more often.
- Thought Questions
Colossians 3 is filled with excellent guidance on the topic of this lesson: good thinking. The first part of this chapter (verses 1-4) tells us to set our minds and hearts on things above. What does that mean?
- The term “things above” means things in heaven.
- It means to meditate on godly ideas that come from the Bible. Memorizing Scripture is one way to do this.
- To “set our minds” on something, we need to practice concentrating on these things.
- To “set our hearts” on something, we wish for and hope after these things.
- Climbing mountains and flying in airplanes are effective ways to set our minds on things above.
Read Colossians 3:5-11. Paul tells us to “put to death… whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (verse 5). Choose one of the following areas and explain how a Christian puts it to death.
- Sexual immorality, impurity, lust
- Evil desires and greed
- Anger, rage, malice
- Slander and filthy language
Now read Colossians 3:12-14. Paul tells us to put on (“clothe yourselves with”) godly qualities. Choose one of the following areas and explain what that characteristic means by listing synonyms for it.
- Compassion and kindness
Paul concludes this section on good thinking with some practical suggestions. Choose one that you find most helpful in your Christian life and explain why it is meaningful to you.
- Verse 15: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…”
- Verse 15: “And be thankful.”
- Verse 16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…”
- Verse 16: “…teach and admonish one another in all wisdom…”
- Verse 16: “…sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: You are a coach in a children’s softball league. After a game, one of the kids says to you, “My parents are so stupid. They don’t know anything.” Based on what you’ve learned in today’s lesson, how might you respond in a helpful way?
- Option 2: How you think impacts how you feel and behave. Using a simple childhood song (like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”), capture a few of today’s lessons in a catchy tune to share with the others in your group.
- Option 3: Choose one short Bible verse from today’s lesson that you feel you need in your mind right now. Write it on a 3x5 index card and try to memorize it. Share why it is important to you and then put it in your pocket and carry it with you for the next week.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Has God convicted you about something from this lesson? What is it? Take a moment to let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart.
- If you are ready, share the conviction God has put on your heart. Then pray with one other person about this conviction, asking God to do a powerful work in your mind this coming week.
Next Week’s Scripture Focus:
Psalm 31:10; 32:1-5; 34:18; 39:2-7; 42; Micah 7:1-7; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 21:2-4