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“Be A Good Jesus”

March 30, 2014

I came home from the first weekend of Biblical counseling training with a stack of good books I have been slowly reading and doling out piecemeal to friends. My measure of a good book is how long it takes me to read it. Usually, the better the book, the longer it takes because it makes me  stop and think and digest and pray.

Two books by Leslie Vernick I picked up have taken me nearly three weeks to read and I want to make time to give them a full review of their own. But there are so many other commendable, helpful books to call out that I will settle for giving you a little taste of some of my favorites in the author’s own words.

You Can Change cover

I’ll start with the book in my hand tonight, Tim Chester’s You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions (Crossway, 2010). The book, as you’ll see from the table of contents, is  step-by-step instruction in the Biblical pattern of changing behavior by systematically allowing the Gospel to transform the heart. If you have the desire to change, the willingness to submit to the Word, Chester will lead you through a process like a Biblical counselor does.

This quote from Chapter One will bless you no matter where you’re at today.

It had gone on for three years. Three years of patiently teaching and doing good, with only misunderstanding and hostility in return. He was tempted to say, “I quit –I don’t need this.” But instead he said, “Not my will but yours be done.” A few hours later he hung on the cross, nails cutting into his limbs, lungs struggling for air, crowds spitting venom. He was tempted to say, “I quit. I’m coming down.” But instead he said, “Father, forgive them.” He kept going until he could cry, “It is finished.”

Jesus is the perfect person, the true image of God, the glory of the Father. And God’s agenda for change is for us to become like Jesus….

Be a good Jesus! Our job is to study the glory of God revealed in the life and death of Jesus. We’re to study his character, learn his role, and understand his motivation, so that in every situation we can improvise the part. We’ll face situations Jesus never faced. But if we understand his character well enough, we’ll be able to improvise. We’ll be a good Jesus.

Tim Chester You Can Change (2010) pp. 14-15

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