How People Change

Paul David Tripp and Timothy S. Lane
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What does it take for lasting change to take root in your life? If you've ever tried, failed, and wondered what you could do differently, you need to read How People Change.

In the book, biblical counseling experts Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp explain the biblical pattern for change in a clear, practical way you can apply to the challenges of daily life.

But change involves much more than just a biblical formula: you will see how God is at work to make you the person you were created to be. That powerful, loving, redemptive relationship is at the heart of all positive change you experience.

A changed heart is the bright promise of the gospel, but many of us wonder if we'll ever see lasting change take root in our lives. When the Bible talks about the gift of a new heart, it doesn't mean a heart that is immediately perfected, but a heart that is capable of being changed. Jesus's work on the cross targets our hearts, our core desires and motivations, and when our hearts change, our behavior changes.

How People Change targets the root of a person: the heart. When our core desires and motivations change, only then will behavior follow. Using a biblical model of Heat, Thorns, Cross, and Fruit, Paul David Tripp and Timothy S. Lane reveal how lasting change is possible.

You don't need to be stuck anymore. In Christ, you are a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come. Includes a foreword by David Powlison.


Timothy S. Lane, MDiv, DMin, is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) with over 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry, counseling, teaching, and executive leadership. He is the author of several minibooks and the coauthor of the books How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making and the curricula Change and Your RelationshipsHow People Change, and Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands. Tim speaks internationally, consults with churches, and writes about the importance of pastoral care.

Paul David Tripp, MDiv, DMin, is the president of Paul David Tripp Ministries, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life. Paul is a best-selling author of many books on Christian living, including How People ChangeInstruments in the Redeemer's HandsA Quest for MoreRelationships: A Mess Worth MakingParenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, and New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. He has been married for many years to Luella, and they have four grown children.

David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, serves as CCEF's executive director, as a faculty member, and as senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. David has been counseling for over thirty years and has written numerous articles on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books include Speaking Truth in LoveSeeing with New EyesPower Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual WarfareThe Biblical Counseling Movement: History and ContextGood and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining and BitternessMaking All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken; and God's Grace in Your Suffering.

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"This book is applied theology. It's about heat, thorns, the cross, and fruit. It's about present grace. In sixteen short and well-illustrated chapters, the wonderful prospect of change for the good is held out for the reader. We are called to consider our circumstances and our responses to them, and beneath that to examine our hearts' desires and to turn afresh to Christ's cross."
Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC

"It's encouraging to know that, in God's hands, the winds of adversity that batter our lives are also agents of fruitful change in us. Paul Tripp and Tim Lane have done us all a favor by leading us down that path of change and teaching us how to embrace God's transforming work in our hearts."
Carolyn Custis James, Author of When Life and Beliefs Collide

"Change doesn't happen overnight for the Christian. It's a lifelong journey. Paul Tripp and Tim Lane masterfully guide us along the biblical path that points us to the cross and a lifestyle of faith and repentance. I recommend this book to all Christians who desire to grow in their relationship with God."
Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

"Governments and agencies can legislate for people, resource people, teach people, but they can't change people. Jesus Christ can! It's that people-changing gospel that these study guides apply clearly, deeply, and perceptively to the relationships that Christians have with friends, neighbors, and families. London City Mission uses this material for training our entire team of 120 who are engaged in patient, sensitive, personal evangelism. These guides are an excellent—even an essential—preparation for that great work."
John Nicholls, Former Chief Executive, London City Mission, UK

"There are very few resources I find more useful than CCEF's study guides. God changes people by conforming their hearts into his likeness, and How People Change will help your laypeople to understand this more clearly. If you want to know why people do the things they do, this resource is for you!"
Deepak Reju, Associate Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist, Washington, DC

"How People Change is a distinctively biblical look at the heart's struggle with sin, its consequences, and God's prescription for it. It has given me fresh insight into my own struggles and better equipped me to help those in my congregation with theirs. I enthusiastically recommend it."
Ken Brown, Pastor, Community Baptist, New Boston, MI

"These resources have been a vital part of discipleship at Mars Hill Church. We place a high value on biblical, gospel-based, heart-oriented counseling and discipleship, and on seeing that vision implemented from the pulpit, in small groups, in individual counseling, and in informal relationships."
Mike Wilkerson, Pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle, WA

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35 Reviews

  • 5
    Great Book!

    Posted by Tyler B on 03 04 2018

    Fantastic book for helping me first understand my own heart and what causes struggles in my own life and then for having a very very helpful framework for being able to understand the roots of other people’s issues and to effectively counsel others. Highly recommended!

  • 5
    Highly recommend to every Christian out there!

    Posted by Laura Plattner on 02 24 2018

    This book makes you look at the heart and go deeper than just surface behavioral change. If you do not get to the heart your attempt at behavior change will eventually fail.

  • 5
    A must-read for church leaders and Christians

    Posted by Drew on 12 18 2017

    We’ve churchified ways to grow as a person outside of the gospel and it doesn’t work. This book along with others like like it, “Recovering Redemption” and “you can change,” are examples of correcting this tremendous misstep.

  • 5
    Insightful and powerful

    Posted by Kristy Mowry on 11 26 2017

    This book is insightful & powerful. Finally, a book that gets to the HEART of the matter and produces lasting change. I am using it in a jail ministry with female addicts.

  • 5
    Excellent book on how to really change yourself!

    Posted by C. Young on 11 22 2017

    This book can change the way you approach struggles and difficulties in your life by giving you a right perspective of your situations, no matter how awful or trying they are. I highly recommend it for the truth that it contains about being honest with yourself. It helps you do self counsel, and gives you a method of dealing with your problems without always running to someone else.

  • 5

    Posted by Tim Ward on 10 02 2017

    My favorite part was the example of the church who accidentally replaced gospel centrality with fine tuning theological understanding. It is an easy slope to slide down, but if we don't keep Jesus and the gospel at the heart of it all we will forget what we are thankful for, how much God loves us, and why we are here.

  • 5
    Truly wonderful book!

    Posted by Amanda on 09 19 2017

    Truly wonderful book, gives you guidance on how to make Christ-centered change without hitting you with "the power of Christ compels you." style writing. This book saved my life, in more ways than one. Every time I read it, I find new lessons in it that I didn't see before. I have highlighted the whole book twice over, because everything hits you hard at one point or another.

  • 3
    Good overview of CCEF

    Posted by David Pulliam on 08 02 2017

    I think this book gives a good overview of how CCEF does ministry, but I do not find Lane and Tripp to be exceptional writers though they are very clear and I know many people appreciate that.

  • 5
    Deepen your walk with God.

    Posted by D. Deacs on 07 27 2017

    This brings a refreshing look at the walk of a believer. It uses well applied principles related to real life struggles. Many of the trials mentioned applied to my circumstances but reminded me my value is found in who I am "in Christ." Whether you to are building your walk with the Lord or need to rejuvenate your faith this book is a winner!

  • 5
    Very practical.

    Posted by Matt on 07 21 2017

    Excellent book. Very easy to put into practice. Exalts Christ by pointing to him as the only true source of life and change.

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