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 Relationships, How 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 Change, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, A Quest for More, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, Parenting: 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 Love; Seeing with New Eyes; Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare; The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context; Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining and Bitterness; Making 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
    Neighbors and power of the community

    Posted by Justin scofield on 08 07 2022

    I’m very thankful of the neighbors and people in my live healthy family and a roof over my head

  • 5
    How People Change

    Posted by Providence Church Book Resource Center on 07 25 2021

    As always Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp offer spot on help to others in showing them through the Word of God how people can change for the better.

  • 5
    Is Christ at the center?

    Posted by Gates on 08 11 2018

    We Christians are so often distracted by otherwise good ministries, unaddressed sins, and interesting/entertaining/important ideas that ultimately usurp Jesus' role as the one who saves us. This book pairs real-life vignettes, visual diagrams, and bibical analysis to speak frankly about these distractions, and show us how and why Jesus is the only way to personal and communal spiritual health

  • 5
    Lane explains "change" well.

    Posted by Maggie Mots on 06 04 2018

    Lane explains "change" well. However, it is a personal choice each of us get to make. No one can "force" another to change ... even if it is the best for them

  • 5
    Eye-opening content!

    Posted by Randal G. Neighbour on 05 29 2018

    This book's content is eye-opening and the authors do a wonderful job of communicating some very deep content. I highly recommend reading this book regardless of where you are in your walk with our Lord.

  • 5
    This book digs deeper than simply actions and responses.

    Posted by Create4me on 05 26 2018

    This book digs deeper than simply actions and responses. I digs down to the heart. The heart of people, and also the heart of the gospel. It unpacks the present grace of Christ that draws us to himself. Many practical, encouraging, and convicting questions are give in the book that takes the gospel and puts it into everyday life.

  • 5
    Great book for soul searchers

    Posted by Kendal on 05 12 2018

    Opens your heart to be ready for change and growth. Makes you think of how am I sinning not others.

  • 5
    Walks you through with real Biblical truths

    Posted by M. Pepe-Rathbone on 04 16 2018

    This book has amazing insights. It walks you through and allows the Word of God to change your understanding and your heart. It has blessed me beyond measure. Highly recommend this book!!

  • 3
    Good, but not always practical

    Posted by Joshua Rivera on 04 08 2018

    It’s a solid book, the ideas are pretty good and it’s helpful if you’re not really struggling in life. But if you do have struggles, and the superficial shallow Christian answers just aren’t cutting it, this book probably isn’t for you. It just falls flat when it comes to how to put into practice, and how to live a real Christian life that goes beyond a personal study.

  • 5
    Should have read years ago!

    Posted by P. D. Bowman on 03 30 2018

    I can only say that if you have not been in the heat of life you may not connect with the wisdom herein. I have borne the scorch of life's heat and felt the pain of its thorns without the benefit of what the authors present. If you're like me then you need this insight and its wisdom. I have been pastor to three churches in the furnace of messed up people. This book is very helpful.

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