Cultivate DT: How to journal
HOW DO I JOURNAL?
01 List the Facts
Go through the facts of what happened, utilizing the 5W’s – Who, What, When, Where, Why.
This is where you want to review what happened with as much accuracy as possible. You can list out basic facts of the situation in chronological order.
Focusing on facts halts rationalizing and self-justifying emotions. For example, rather than saying, “I felt like he was attacking me with his words so I responded in this way,” just state the objective facts: “I yelled at my roommate.”
Based on the facts, you can begin to explore deeper questions, such as:
- Why did I say that? Why did I do that?
- What was I feeling when I did that?
- What was going through my mind?
- What were some events leading up to this incident?
03 Ask, “What Does This Reveal About Me?”
After reviewing the facts and exploring why you reacted or felt as you did, ask yourself the question, “What does this reveal about me?” Here are some questions that might be helpful:
- What does this show about what drives me?
- What does this show about what’s going on inside of me?
- What does this show about my view towards… (others, God, myself)?
- What does this reveal about what is important to me?
Don’t use a lot of jargon and try not to be overly dramatic in language (e.g., “I feel like I don’t deserve the cross of Jesus!”). Try to use plain speech as much as possible.
04 The Word of God
Often, people either go into a downward spiral of self-flagellation, or they might be satisfied with merely identifying what they did wrong and end there. If you don’t go through this step, you can leave God entirely out of your struggle. To apply the Word of God to your situation, ask yourself the following questions:
- What about the gospel addresses me at this point?
- What is true and real according to God’s Word?
- How does the Word of God bring reproof and correction (2 Timothy 3:16) to you regarding this situation?