Tolle Lege: How People Change

Readability: 1

Length: 223 pp

Author: Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp

Can people really change? Can you? Do you desire to change? Are you tired of self-help books that fell like a hamster wheel? Here you will find no superficial solutions to your behavior. Lane and Tripp go to the heart of the problem – the problem of the human heart. They realize that for real change to occur a miracle must happen – the new birth. Behavior springs from the heart. If behavior is to be changed, the heart must be changed. How People Change is an excellent resource for pastors, counselors, leaders, and for those desiring to change.

But is Jesus my therapist or my Redeemer?  If he is my therapist, then he meets my needs as I define them.  If he is my Redeemer, he defines my true needs and addresses them in ways far more glorious than I could have anticipated.

It is always tempting to find fullness in something other than Christ. Often I opt for peace and comfort rather than Jesus. When I do, I can move in two opposite but equally sinful directions. If I am irritated with you because you get in the way of the things that comfort me, I may lash out at you and keep you from taking what I think I need. But I can also fake “godly” behavior to get the same result. I may choose to “be nice” in order to extract some kindness from you.

On several occasions I have had arguments with my wife, knowing that a good baseball game was about to air on TV. Watching a game is a time of peace and comfort for me. Because I want that experience, I may apologize to my wife and even ask her to forgive me for the way I sinned against her. From the outside, this may look godly, but on the inside, I was simply faking godliness to get what I wanted. If I consciously live in light of the fact that I am full in Christ, I will ask for forgiveness whether or not I get to watch the game. The most obvious way to determine if my actions were sincere is to look at my behavior when the game comes on and I am interrupted again. If I become agitated, my confession and request for forgiveness were most likely a subtle way of manipulating my wife to get what I wanted.

Paul says that we have been given fullness in Christ. If I act on this truth, nothing can empty me of what is already mine. Baseball game or no baseball game, I can live peaceably with my wife and family. This simple illustration may not be all too impressive, but if the blessings of Christ do not change us in little moments like these, the chances that they will change us in more difficult moments are slim. It is in the everyday details that the grace of Christ must be applied.

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