Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Review: Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul David Tripp

I often have a pencil or highlighter with me when I read a non-fiction book, especially one that I know will be thought-provoking. I like to underline or highlight the parts that really speak to me and that I want to refer to again (of course, I am talking only about books I own!). It seems that when I do this, I remember more of what I read than when I don't. I sometimes write some of the passages in my journal so I can read them again later.

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives)This book, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands,is one of those books that I carried with a pencil wherever I went. The problem, though, is that when I finished reading it, I had marked it up so much that it looks like there is more underlined than not. I couldn't stop! I found so much I wanted to remember in this book that it took me probably three times as long to read than it normally would because I was stopping to underline so often.

I read Mr. Tripp's book years ago for a class that my former pastor was teaching to train members in our church to counsel others. I couldn't believe how much wisdom could be packed in just 350+ pages. So when I was required to read it again for a counseling class I am taking, I jumped at the chance to dive into its depths once again.

The subtitle to Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands is: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change. And that's exactly what it teaches. Unlike many other books for "Christian counselors", this author does not claim to be perfect and a know-it-all telling others how to "straighten up". Instead, Mr. Tripp humbly explains how we as Christians can help others in their various situations and "comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (II Corinthians 1:4). We are to learn from God how he "comforts" us, and then love others with that same comfort. That is the foundation for all that this book teaches.

We are sinners in need of a Redeemer. And our goal, to quote Mr. Tripp, is "to help one another live with a God's story mentality. Our mission is to teach, admonish, and encourage one another to rest in his sovereignty, rather than establishing our own; to rely on his grace rather than performing on our own; and to submit to his glory rather than seeking our own." This is the work of the kingdom. And this is what Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands shows us to do.

This was one of those rare books that I can honestly say is a rich gold mine to the reader.The nuggets I found within will remain with me for a long time. I highly recommend it.

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