A couple months ago I read How People Change by Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane. I’ve already used some parts of the book in my mentoring and small group work and plan on integrating some of the content into one of my classes in the upcoming term.
There’s several books or models of change or growth out there. Many Christians prefer Tripp and Lane’s work because it’s firmly grounded in Scripture and is focused on personal sanctification. That’s why I like this book and their Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, which I use in my Interpersonal Relationships course.
The strength of the book is the model which ties personal sanctification and behavior change to the Biblical themes of eternal hope, being married to Christ, and Christian community and body life. They provide a framework that helps people evaluate how circumstances trigger behavior – either good or bad. But what separates the model is that they use Scripture to push people the extra step into the heart areas and idolatry that lies at the foundation of the bad behavior. They focus on both the root and the fruit of behavior.
I found a link to a summary article of the book which is a great small group tool and not too long. The link is: https://www.ccef.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/archive/sites/default/files/2302015_0.pdf
Sometimes I hear people compare Tripp and Lane’s worth with Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s. I see them doing different things and so I have often been using resources from both. Tripp and Lane present a model and foundation for personal sanctification and interpersonal and spiritual maturity. Cloud and Townsend tend to focus on human and personal development. Sometimes there’s a lot of overlap there, but they are different enough to where it’s important to understand what the resources are meant and not meant to do.
There’s a lot pertaining to growth and development that Tripp and Lane do not attempt to cover. I similarly do not see Cloud and Townsend offering a comprehensive model of sanctification or Spirit filled living. I think there’s a lot of potential to use the strengths of both to do holistic and Biblical based training that impacts Spirit-filled living and character transformation with human growth and development that reflects the overall narrative of Scripture.
I found this book to be a great resource and a help personally and for me as I mentor individuals and small groups. I recommend it and I’ve noticed that around once a year it’s offered free or for a couple dollars on amazon as an e-book so keep a look out 🙂