I got this book for free at the last Canberra Men's Convention. The organisers picked this book, not because there were lots of copies lying around in book stores (in fact they had to specially order a bunch of these books from the UK and then get a truck from (I think) Brisbane to drive them down to make it in time for the convention) but they thought this would be a good and helpful book for people to read, and I think they were right.
You Can Change by Tim Chester sounds like yet another self help book, but really it is quite to opposite. Really it should be called something like: God Can Change You.
This book looks at sin and encourages us, by God's grace that we can overcome these struggles in our life. That sounds ever so nice but the book is also realistic. Chester admits that no one can ever be perfect this side of eternity, but the challenge of the book is for us to flee from sin as much as we can. It challenges us to look at our hearts and see where our true desires are. Chester tries to understand the human heart and argues that just by resisting something is not enough to deal with deep seeded problems. Our root problems are our desires, and the point is that we should have stronger desires for God and a hatred for sin. We are to prepare ourselves for a life time of daily struggles, but also we should remember that in Jesus we have a life time of hope under grace. There is also a strong emphasis on confession and community.
I think the best way to read this book would be in pairs or maybe a small group or say no more that four people. You are encouraged to pick one area of your life as your "Change Project" and at the end of each chapter there are questions about your change project and how you are going to overcome these struggles. This makes the book deeply practical and forces you to really think about your heart and what your desires are.
Some of the chapters move a little slow and sometimes it becomes a bit of a doctrine text book dealing with topics like holiness, justification and sanctification but despite that I think maybe this year I might re-read this book with one or two other guys. It is worth a read, especially if you think through the questions at the end of each chapter.
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