Wednesday, 22 September 2010

How people change

For some time I've been reading Timothy Land and Paul Tripps book 'How people change'. Some years ago I heard Paul Tripp lecture at Northern Cornhill for the day and he was exceptional, when I then needed to think pastorally about certain situations and hurts I ordered this book.

I have been taking it slowly partly due to time constraints but also because I want to allow the lessons to distill and take time to think through how I put them into action. The book is based on the premise that we all live with a gospel gap. If we do not live with a gospel shaped, Christ confident and change committed Christianity, that hole will get filled with other things.

They also point out that we are prone to underestimating our sin but also our identity in Christ it is these two things that they are seeking to challenge us on in the book. They also constantly remind us that we are not defined by our struggle with sin but by our identity in Christ.

The stand out chapter so far has been chapter 5 'Change is a community project' It takes on our individualistic interpretation of the bible and what God is doing in us, constantly refocusing on the fact we are reconciled not just to God but to one another, that we are called to intimately connect with our brothers and sisters and that our help is found in Christ but also in Christ's people.

I've been struck particularly in this chapter by the challenge to allow others to minister to me more often rather than just having one way ministry friendships. I am not saved or defined by my ministry or ministering but by being in Christ, and Christ and his people have been given to encourage my growth in grace.

I'm looking forward to reading some more of their rigorous and perceptive dissection of my heart.

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