The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog references something I have been reading lately. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book, magazine article or blog post I have or am reading.
I really am encouraging and edified by Paul Tripp’s book Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands. It was published in 2002 by P&R Publishing. On the back cover, we read,
“We might be relieved if God placed our sanctification only in the hands of trained professionals, but that is not his plan. Instead, through the ministry of every part of the body, the whole church will mature in Christ. Paul David Tripp helps us discover where change is needed in our own lives and the lives of others. Following the example of Jesus, Tripp reveals how to get to know people, and how to lovingly speak truth to them.”
I have only read the first eleven chapters, so I cannot speak for the remaining three chapters or the appendices, but for now I will conclude the two most helpful books on counseling and giving a counselee a biblical perspective of themselves and God is Trusting God by Jerry Bridges and this book by Tripp. In fact, if every Christian had time, I would encourage him to read Bridges’ book to remind him of his proper place before an Almighty God and then to read Tripp’s book to remind him of his proper understanding of himself and others.
His first chapter is entitled “The Best of News: A Reason to Get Up in the Morning.” For those who struggle with depression or anxiety or lack of motivation or any other related struggle that prohibits them from living their day to the fullest, I highly recommend reading this chapter often.
In many ways, this chapter simply retells the story of the Gospel and how the good news changes us from the inside out so that we are able and capable of living for everyone else (God first) instead of ourselves.
On pg. 8, Tripp states,
“If you are going to deal with your own difficulties or assist others who want to deal with theirs, you must correct wrong thinking. Yes, you must deal with the suffering of the past and the ways the body isn’t properly functioning, but you must do more. You must help them conquer the sin that distorts all these experiences.”
How helpful is that! You see as Christians, we all too often separate our struggles from Biblical help or prescription and simply consult the world to medicate us. We rarely consider that it could very well be that the most important problem we all have is one in the mind.
He concludes on pg. 13,
“This is why Paul writes so pointedly in Colossians 2:8, ‘See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world and not on Christ.’ The world’s philosophy is deceptive because it cannot deliver what it promises. It may be well researched and logically presented, but it is not centered on Christ. Because sin (the condition) is what is wrong, true hope and help can only be found in him. Any other answer will prove hollow.
We will do much better in sanctification is we get used to asking ourselves the question, “What is wrong with my thinking” than “what can I get prescribed to make this better.”
You need to read Tripp’s book. Whether you are a counselor or a counselee, all will benefit.