Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Have you had times when you’ve felt alone and overwhelmed, unable to see any light at the end of the struggle, or just stuck in the continuous cycle of that sin that you can’t shake?
If you’re anything like me, which I’m sure you are in this sense, then you’ve definitely been there!
One of the things that I find with almost every Christian is that they want to change. As we grow in our faith and knowledge of God we are confronted with our own sinfulness and our failings as we, an unholy people, try to live holy lives for God’s glory. But it isn’t easy, is it? We all know the feelings of struggle and frustration especially as we wrestle with sin, sometimes we can feel stuck.
Tim Lane has written a helpful and quite unique book Unstuck, the subtitle of the books is ‘A nine-step journey to change that lasts’. I say that this book is unique because, unlike other books on getting unstuck, it is not a self-help book. Unstuck doesn’t tell you to get over it or to keep going, and this book is written in such a way that you can go through the nine-step process yourself.
I’ll confess that when I picked up the book and saw the subtitle I thought ‘oh great, another number-of-steps book that is just another self-help book wrapped in Christianity’ I was proven wrong!
You can read the book by yourself, in a group setting or in a one-to-one, be that a discipleship relationship or a pastoral care setting. You probably won’t pick up this book and go through the steps for every single sin that you do, however, reading through it and learning the principles from it would help you as you go through your Christian life. Often people can look on their sin and feel that it defines who they are as individuals, or they feel that their suffering means that they are not in Christ. Lane says…
“No sin or experience of suffering can define who you are! You are defined by who Jesus is and what he has done for you in his life, death, and resurrection.”
There are some great books on lasting change in the Christian life out there, but many of them are long and can sometimes be quite complicated. This is one of the few that I have read which is written in such a way that enables everyone to think through and walk through a topic of struggle in their own lives, or the life of a someone close. Lane has done a great job of balancing personal stories and examples with practical advice on how to bring about change. Unstuck is rooted in Scripture and it emphasises that change can only happen through the work of the Holy Spirit.
There is even a cool diagram at the beginning of every chapter which explains the whole nine-step journey up to that point. If you took a picture of that and put it up on a wall it could be a helpful reminder of how to bring about lasting change.
So often Christian’s define themselves according to their circumstances and their lack of ability to change, Lane approaches this whole topic in a very warm way. He writes as someone who himself is on this journey to lasting change and offers this book as an aid for your journey. He says…
“Your circumstances shape you but they do not define you – what defines you is that you are in a relationship with a god who loves you.”
If you’re struggling to change, but you really want to, pick up this book and let it lead you to Scripture and let it lift your eyes to the only One who can help you change, God.
Dr. Timothy S. Lane is the Founder and President of the Institute for Pastoral Care, a non-profit that equips local churches to care for their people, and Tim Lane & Associates, a counseling practice located in Peachtree City, Georgia. He is the author of several books on Christian living including How People Change, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making and Living Without Worry: How to Replace Anxiety with Peace