How Do People Change?

I’m making reading recommendations in this column, and that comes in several forms

Why read?  To grow.

It seems that growth should be normal but “Biblically speaking, drift is always away” – Mike Bullmore.  We have to choose to grow.  Books are an opportunity to deliberately benefit from a faithful Christian’s thoughts.  Even a good friend can’t give you as flexible a schedule as a book’s author will.  Christian growth is through discipleship, and an author leading us to think more wisely and passionately about something, does us a great favor.  An author will probably not have blind spots identical to you, and can therefore point them out.  Reading outside our own era counteracts the consumeristic simplicity of our age that looks for a quick fix decided on through selfish reasoning.

Recommended books:

How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp – If significant change were easy, Amazon probably wouldn’t have 103,940 books on self improvement.  This book is filled with thought through examples that demonstrate understanding and love, and show us how to offer hope.

The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande.  This would be good follow up reading, given that this week’s sermon is, “How Can I handle Conflict Better?”  Our natural reflexes for handling conflict include anger, avoidance, and attacking, but Ken guides us moving forward Biblically.

Work and Leisure in Christian Perspective, Leland Ryken.  Another good follow up to a sermon, and one that confronts the three fold problem, “Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship.” – Gordon Dahl

Heroes by Iain H. Murray.  Murray assisted Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones and has great interest and skill in learning from other Christians and helping us to do the same.  Most “heroes” in this book are like the people mentioned at the end of Epistles.  Easily overlooked but lives God used to build his church.