Switching gears a bit, I thought the idea of change would be a good one to talk about next in the Favorites Series and the book "How People Change" by Paul Tripp and Tim Lane popped up in my mind. However, I didn't have the book to pull out because I remembered it wasn't my book in the firstplace.
Alas, it was my dear friend's book who has lended me various things over the years, books and cds and the like and I had a tendency to go a very long time before returning her items. Opps.
I decided sometime back (maybe after reading this book) that I needed to, um, change that. It got kind of ridiculous. There were piles of books that I realized weren't mine and I had accumulated.
If that's ever happened to you, here are some steps for you:
1) Take inventory of what is actually yours and don't wait months to return something.
2) Go to their house, leave the items on their doorstep and leave a note.
3) Run away quickly and maybe they won't remember who they lent it to.
Okay, maybe not #2 and #3, but you get the point.
There are many different perspectives on change and many different approaches from which to talk about it. I see it everyday in my field as a counselor.
Tripp and Lane talk about patterns of change from a Biblical perspective in a practical way but also mapping out why it's important to look deeply and not just stay on the surface.
They talk about real people with real struggles. They also describe why Jesus looks at the heart and came to be about the inward change and not just the external. All day long I can try and clean up myself on the outside, but if nothing has changed inwardly, I am still in the same place I was before. Jesus came to actually move us from those stuck places we were in before.
In an interview about the book, Tripp talks about the rawness and realness of the people in the Bible and also the hope that can be found in how God works in people who do not have it all together, and yet there is hope for change.
"When I read a Bible story, I think, “This is an embarrassing story!” If I had written the Bible, I would have left that story out. God knows how ugly, messy, disastrous, and hurtful life can be. Right next to that honest picture of life, he puts the promise of real personal change." - Paul Tripp
There is hope for the hurting and lasting change possible even in broken situations. Jesus came not just to put a lid on surface level problems or iron out wrinkles but to get at the roughest places inside, the ones that appear to have holes that puncture and nothing can fill or make whole again.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 22-23
Another favorite artist, Sara Groves, song "He's Always Been Faithful" from her album, Conversations.