I’m a moderate-to-large fan of Tim Chester’s books, and I’ve recently re-read one of his older ones that I’ve found deeply helpful. I’ve recently been becoming more and more aware of some negative and sinful patterns in my life, and the affects that this has on my relationship with God, people around me, and even myself. A trusted friend gave me You Can Change, and it has been a really helpful tool for moving away from sin and negativity, and towards Jesus.
This is a relatively simple book, but soaked in biblical wisdom and clearly rooted in solid and deep theology of holiness and transformation. It is best read, as I did read it this time (I think I’ve skimmed this book in the past), as intended: chapter by chapter, not all in one go, taking seriously the process of change and the invitation towards Jesus. Each of the ten chapters closes with a practical yet probing reflection, as Tim Chester leads us through our own ‘change project’. If there is something in your life that you know Jesus is not happy with, then this book is a great way to engage with that.
Chester is honest and authentic throughout this book. He shares stories of his own failures, some more memorable than others, as well as the stories of those he’s walked alongside. I found this very helpful. His usage of the Bible is beautiful – pointing us to Jesus and and away from selfish sin. Chester also has dug deep into the long history of Christian teaching and reflection on the issues of holiness and change, and shares some of the best nuggets of this thoughtful reading in ways that make sense, either explaining a quote in simple language, or letting it speak clearly for itself.
It is unlikely that most of us will be aware of their need for this book. It is a book that is a tool for when we come to then end of ourselves and want to change, but I hope that it is also a book that would be a useful part of a small group leader or pastor’s arsenal when it comes to holiness and transformation. You Can Change is simple, biblical, readable and – if you give it time and invite the Holy Spirit to come into your life and transform you into the likeness of Christ – a powerful tool for personal transformation. I’d thoroughly recommend it!