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How People Change

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,051 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Deceptively simple in its prose, How People Change is a revolutionary and provocative book for all who have felt trapped by their own desires. Paul david Tripp and Timothy S. Lane collaborate to expose the heart issues at stake and help people to make real, lasting change. These answers, the authors assert, lie in appropriating the fullness of the grace and freedom of Jesu ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published May 28th 2006 by New Growth Press (first published 2006)
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Feb 05, 2011 John rated it it was amazing
It's the unspoken elephant in the room: why aren't professing Christians, by and large, any different than non-Christians? We often struggle and fail at the same sins, have the same divorce rates, and generally don't stand out as being more kind or loving than devoted moral adherants of other religions--- despite our theology that we have been "born again." Ask many, including pastors, the question, and the reply often comes down to some variant of "they aren't trying hard enough" or "they aren' ...more
May 14, 2013 Anita rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read that explains the gospel in context of the believer's life. Beautiful and simple biblical model of the believer as either a thorny shrub or fruitful tree and how the circumstances we go through will reveal which kind of plant we are. This book ties the gospel message to God's purpose for us, our identity and new nature in Him, God's ability to do what He promises, and the benefit of healthy church life. I have not only read this book, but have also taken th ...more
Bob Price
Oct 01, 2012 Bob Price rated it really liked it
How People Change is one of those books that you need to keep reading and re-reading to understand and...more importantly, to apply!

What I mean by this is not that Lane presents anything that is controversial or new or frankly unconventional. Rather, the material is so basic that we instinctively want to make it more complicated in order that we don't have to follow it.

Coming from a strong Reformed Christian perspective, Lane writes with passion and conviction. In his understanding (and mine)
Paul Brown
Although I had high expectations when I purchased How People Change, the book turned out to be even better than I expected. In the first few chapters, the authors earned my respect as men who are committed to the power of the gospel to change lives and who are familiar with the human heart, both from their own experience and from counseling others. The first five chapters lay the groundwork for the model of change that is presented in the remaining chapters. Lane and Tripp work hard to help the ...more
Sep 20, 2011 Reid rated it it was amazing
Well developed approach to ministry/discipleship/counseling

There is a Gospel gap: many of us as Christians think that there are some things (many things?) that we can't trust Jesus to deliver us from (we need a professional). Actually, we have been given everything for life and godliness in the gospel. Therein is the GAP.

Our purpose is to glorify God

We will serve something/someone. Even as Christians, we are prone to idolatry --- willing to sin to get what we want that is more important to us th
Peter Krol
Jan 29, 2015 Peter Krol rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
I'm amazed by how much I need to change...

This was a wonderful introduction to the topic of change, particularly on how we need to uncover the thoughts and motives of our hearts and be changed by the Cross of Christ. The Gospel really should be central in all we do.

Update 2015: Still very helpful. And I still need to change.
Drew Miller
Nov 09, 2014 Drew Miller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
Lane and Tripp do a wonderful job of laying out what it looks like to apply the gospel to all areas of your life and experience the lasting change that comes with doing it well.
Donovan Richards
Give It 50 Pages

Nancy Pearl isn’t the only one with this argument, but I heard it from her first so she’s getting credit. Statistically speaking, there are more books in the world than any one person could ever read in a lifetime. Your reading time is sacred and finite. Pearl, thus, urges her followers to avoid reading books they find unrewarding. Give a book 50 pages; if it doesn’t grip you, move on without regret.

Sadly, I find it difficult to heed these rules. What if a book gets better after
Phil Dunn
Sep 16, 2010 Phil Dunn rated it really liked it
An excellent counselling-style book getting right to the heart of how God changes his people. The authors focus is not so much what the Gospel has accomplished in the past, or what it will accomplish in the future - but how it can be applied in the here and now. This, it is argued by the authors, is a much needed area for exploring. After reading it, I agree!

The writers main themes are fivefold:
1) The Extent and Gravity of our Sin
2) The Centrality of the Heart
3) The Present Benefits of Christ
Shaela Woody
Jan 02, 2015 Shaela Woody rated it it was amazing
I normally avoid this kind of book, as my experience with this genre is that it's full of self-help pop psychology crap, with a few Bible verses sprinkled in to make it all sound Christian. This book was kind of the opposite. The authors teach nothing new, just the familiar orthodox stuff on sanctification and God's grace, and that's what was so awesome about it. Those are the doctrines I need to learn over and over. I really appreciated the points about how all sin is first and foremost a "wors ...more
Annette Maclean
Feb 01, 2015 Annette Maclean rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on discipleship and the process of change. One to read and then read again.
Jul 29, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it
How People Change is a wonderful exposition on how Christians can and do become sanctified in their individual lives, to eventually effecting their families and churches. It begins with the assumption that many Christians attempt to change behavior based on a variety of internal and external sources - from psychology, to maintaining cultural mores, to type of Biblical legalism, and other types of outward outcomes that exist to simply show to themselves and to others and to God, that they have th ...more
Mar 31, 2014 Shelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I was really concerned that this book would be another of those popular "Christian Self-Help Books" that I dislike so much. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This book by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp is completely Gospel-based and grounded in scripture. I always assumed that if I were more disciplined, if I did the "right things", if I found the right "program", then the areas of my life that need to be changed would change. However, time and time again I fail and fall. Lane and Tripp work
Jan 22, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. It takes a while because there is lots to think about and questions to answer. But it will be read again I'm sure and more will be taken from it.
Chad Stutzman
Dec 17, 2009 Chad Stutzman rated it really liked it
This is a book we use at NewPointe to train our mentors. It describes the process of how a person changes. It is a very practical, easy to understand look at the change process. A great book to help you examine your spiritual and emotional life and help you begin to make some changes.
May 29, 2014 Kent rated it really liked it
A book on how progressive sanctification works, though I don't think the term is in the book at all. Emphasizes the importance of daily living a life with Christ through ongoing repentance and faith. The material is helpfully organized around a 4-part system of heat, thorns, cross, and fruit, based on Jeremiah 17:5-10's parable. The heart is identified as the foundational location where change must take place. The resources of salvation are identified and the reality of the new creation is empha ...more
Tim Woody
May 07, 2014 Tim Woody rated it really liked it
This book was great. I challenge anyone to read this book and not find themselves in these pages. Not only will they find themselves but they will get Christ focused advice on how to tackle your struggles.

Recently at a lecture, Carl Truman was talking about what you would do if someone came up to you and began telling you about all the great things they were learning from a book you knew to be not so great and misleading. His answer was that you should find out what they are needing and getting
A wonderful book about the centrality of the gospel in our "here and now." This book helped open my eyes to how much I treasure the gospel for saving me in the past and giving me hope for the future but not for its power in my life right now as I seek to fight sin and grow in holiness. The authors' emphasis on targeting the heart instead of external behaviors is outstanding, as well their focus on Christian community as a necessary part of growth and change. True community runs counter to my nor ...more
Bob T
Apr 28, 2014 Bob T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great guidance for gospel centered growth

I rated this book 5 stars because it's one of the best I've read on personal growth. it's practical and very gospel centered. No pop psychology or new age concepts here, thank goodness. Just living by the Word and wisdom of the Lord and creator of the universe...what better source than that!

This material is presented in a very practical and easy to understand way. There's also a very good section on how the church can be more effective as a change agent
Feb 07, 2015 Dabeyta rated it liked it
I read this book as a devotional with my wife about once a week, so it took a while to read but it brought the two of us together and opened up a space for us to pray together about real issues.

As far as the content, the first 2 chapters were solid and engaging, describing what the author terms "gospel gaps" that grow over time in all of our lives. There is a lot of repetition in the following chapters, which bogged me down a bit. However, I found Chapter 5 encouraging. It talks of the community
Benjamin Nathaniel
I wish we all read this once a year!

This is a must read for every Christian, whether they think they need change or not! Whether they think they need to be connected to a particular church or not!

This powerful work serves to provide a thorough paradigm reference for truly understanding the active role of change in the life of every believer! It is an aid in examining our own hearts, the health of our ministries, and the grace which is both commanded for and lavished upon every believer.

This book
Benjamin Alexander
Jul 03, 2013 Benjamin Alexander rated it it was amazing
a great book on sanctification. Good.
Brandon Current
Jul 15, 2015 Brandon Current rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read and Keep as Resource. This book is a helpful focusing on the gospel as the underlying means of all positive change in life and relationships. I particularly liked the beginning when various shifts of the gospel are listed. There are many great quotes throughout the book. However, the examples of these principles being applied to life situations are oversimplified and not really executable. Good book for high level emphasis, but will still leave one needing more direction in counseling and i ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Real Practical Biblical Christianity Explained.

This is truly an awesome book and a must have for every believe in Jesus Christ. No Christian home should be without this book. Tripp and Lane have done an excellent job in writing this book. This is NOT another self help book. This book begins with Christ and focuses on Christ all the way.

In this book, Tripp and Lane answer the question that serious Christians have been asking for some time, "why is the life style of professing Christians not dif
Jan 21, 2011 Ben rated it it was amazing
There are books that impact you significantly because of the particular situation or place in life you are currently in. This book has made a profound impact on my understanding of spiritual growth and development, and is a must read. Had I read this a few years back, I probably wouldn't have had the same feeling, but due to the work God has been doing in my life at Trinity and Life on the Vine (our church), this book has connected the dots on a lot of thoughts I've had on the topic.

The book fo
Mike E.
Feb 01, 2013 Mike E. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: small group leaders, pastors, Christians in need of refreshment and soul renewal
"Often there has been too much of a separation between the theology we say we believe and the world we struggle in every day. The purpose of this book is to bridge the gap (p 13)." For me this was a worthy read--nothing new, nothing earth shattering but a compelling call to LIVE the gospel, to live the Christian life now. Throughout the book one reads of many case scenarios. These hit home--if not with one's own struggles, then with someone you know.

The "X-ray" questions are p 142 ff. are helpfu
Apr 05, 2010 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
A passage that particularly resonated with me:

We must reject a view of the Christian life that emphasizes what we should do more more than what God is doing in us by his Spirit. We should reject any view of the Christian life that says that the change God calls us to is impossible, or only takes place in eternity. We should reject any perspective on the Christian life that minimizes the war that rages in on our hearts every day---or ignores the fact that God is fighting it for us and with us! Th
Cheryl Durham
Dec 29, 2015 Cheryl Durham rated it it was amazing
This is my 2nd time reading this. This was a favorite of mine a year ago. There was a reason..I know..why I had to read this again. There are lessons that I didn't get the first time around. I guess now I will return it to its rightful owner.

Pastor Tripp ministers to the soul. It's an excellent read....theoretical with ample doses of love. The question that continues to be before us is: What really drives behavior? Can people change? Can that change be sustained? After the removal of all that a
Lindsay Deans
Jul 14, 2014 Lindsay Deans rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Loved this practical yet Biblically saturated book. Including the major theme of many in the Biblical Counseling category, authentic Christian communal living is the setting where change, real and lasting heart change, happens- pointing utmost to the finished work on the cross, and living in present grace. This book was challenging, yet very powerful and a transformative tool God used in drawing my heart closer to Him as He healed me from what was keeping me guarded and not wholly surrendered to ...more
Oct 24, 2014 Sheri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the concept behind this book--illustrated by the concept of trees responding to "heat" based on their nature--is a solid one and will be helpful in analyzing my own life, I think the content could have been significantly trimmed. I finished it because I had started it, but I was glad to be done, and I didn't feel like I gained much after the first few chapters.
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Timothy S. Lane, M. Div., D. Min.
Born in Sylvania, Georgia, Tim enjoyed a good relationship with his parents in his formative years, but he did not become involved in church until his later teens. Just before his senior year in high school, Tim became aware of his sin and his need for Jesus. God used simple salvation sermons at a local church, as well as a group of friends, to bring him to Christ
More about Timothy S. Lane...

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“You and I will only be able to understand what is valuable when we examine things from the perspective of eternity.” 3 likes
“My husband and I have been a part of the same small group for the past five years.... Like many small groups, we regularly share a meal together, love one another practically, and serve together to meet needs outside our small group. We worship, study God’s Word, and pray. It has been a rich time to grow in our understanding of God, what Jesus has accomplished for us, God’s purposes for us as a part of his kingdom, his power and desire to change us, and many other precious truths. We have grown in our love for God and others, and have been challenged to repent of our sin and trust God in every area of our lives. It was a new and refreshing experience for us to be in a group where people were willing to share their struggles with temptation and sin and ask for prayer....We have been welcomed by others, challenged to become more vulnerable, held up in prayer, encouraged in specific ongoing struggles, and have developed sweet friendships. I have seen one woman who had one foot in the world and one foot in the church openly share her struggles with us. We prayed that God would show her the way of escape from temptation many times and have seen God’s work in delivering her. Her openness has given us a front row seat to see the power of God intersect with her weakness. Her continued vulnerability and growth in godliness encourage us to be humble with one another, and to believe that God is able to change us too. Because years have now passed in close community, God’s work can be seen more clearly than on a week-by-week basis. One man who had some deep struggles and a lot of anger has grown through repenting of sin and being vulnerable one on one and in the group. He has been willing to hear the encouragement and challenges of others, and to stay in community throughout his struggle.... He has become an example in serving others, a better listener, and more gentle with his wife. As a group, we have confronted anxiety, interpersonal strife, the need to forgive, lust, family troubles, unbelief, the fear of man, hypocrisy, unemployment, sickness, lack of love, idolatry, and marital strife. We have been helped, held accountable, and lifted up by one another. We have also grieved together, celebrated together, laughed together, offended one another, reconciled with one another, put up with one another,...and sought to love God and one another. As a group we were saddened in the spring when a man who had recently joined us felt that we let him down by not being sensitive to his loneliness. He chose to leave. I say this because, with all the benefits of being in a small group, it is still just a group of sinners. It is Jesus who makes it worth getting together. Apart from our relationship with him...,we have nothing to offer. But because our focus is on Jesus, the group has the potential to make a significant and life-changing difference in all our lives. ...When 7 o’clock on Monday night comes around, I eagerly look forward to the sound of my brothers and sisters coming in our front door. I never know how the evening will go, what burdens people will be carrying, how I will be challenged, or what laughter or tears we will share. But I always know that the great Shepherd will meet us and that our lives will be richer and fuller because we have been together. ...I hope that by hearing my story you will be encouraged to make a commitment to become a part of a small group and experience the blessing of Christian community within the smaller, more intimate setting that it makes possible. 6” 2 likes
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