Writers use formulas and templates because they work. So why not use templates for takeaways?
The devotional’s takeaway, also called the “application,“ is the third element in the 3-part structure. (A devotional’s 3-part structure explained.) The takeaway gives the reader an action step she can take in order to apply the devotional point.
If you aren’t sure how to go about writing this element, try using a writing template to construct your takeaway. These templates are simple life application phrases that are used in spiritual growth. Adapt them to your particular devotional.
Is it cheating to use templates for takeaways? No. Like following the standard 3-part format for writing devotionals, it’s smart. Templates offer patterns that have proven to work over time.
What is [an attitude to adopt] towards [a person or circumstance]?
What is [a challenge to face] about [a person or circumstance]?
What [change] can you make to [specific action]?
What [condition] can you meet about [situation, person, or topic]?
What [conflict] to resolve with [person or circumstance]?
What [detail] can you consider about [situation, person, or topic]?
What [example to follow] do you find in [situation, person, or topic]?
How can you come to [forgive, reconcile] the [hurt] you experienced [time, place]?
What [idea] can you pursue to [specific action]?
Name the [lie] exposed here and the [truth] that is real.
What [mistake] can you prevent about [situation, person, or topic]?
What prayer can you pray about [situation, person, or topic]?
Is there a [command] to obey about [situation, person, or topic]?
What promise can you claim about [situation, person, or topic]?
In [what area] can you build your relationship with [situation, person, or topic]?
What scripture can you study further to learn more about [topic]?
[What or How] is God calling you [to face or to avoid] [a specific sin]?
What [thought, idea] can you ponder about [situation, person, or topic] in order to [action]?
Name the [truth] you are called to face about [situation, person, or topic].
What [verse] can you memorize to strengthen your [area of faith life]?
What [view] are you to embrace about [situation, person, or topic] — and why?
What [virtue] can you to cultivate and [what step] can you take first
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