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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There are now things I need to change, 18 May 2012
By 
Philip Taylor (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: RELATIONSHIPS A MESS WORTH MAKING (Paperback)
Reading any book, I have found, authored or co-authored by Paul Tripp is an enlightening experience. 'How People Change', 'Instruments in the Redeemers Hands', 'War of Words', 'Age of Opportunity', and so forth. Tripp frequently describes scenarios from his counseling experience that could be about me. Spooky. Relationships: A Mess Worth Making is no different. As with every book coming from the CCEF group, the authors will take a very practical approach that highlights the sinful heart at the root of our relationships. But they never leave it there. They always show the resources available to us in Jesus. They say, "And even while we are basking in God's forgiveness, we find it incredibly difficult to bear with the sin and weakness of others. That's why, in the mirror of mercy, all of us look the same." (p. 135)

The authors start by locating our relationships in the nature of God and explain that we were made for relationships. They move on to discuss how sin impacts our relationships:

Self-centeredness
Self-rule
Self-sufficiency
Self-righteousness
Self-satisfaction
Self-taught

So we are made for relationships but our relationships are frequently screwed up to one degree or another. To help us see through this fog and make real progress the authors move on to discuss a number of topics important to relationships. For example, when discussing hope, they state:

"The problem with relationships is that they all take place right smack dab in the middle of something, and that something is the story of redemption, God's plan to turn everything in our lives into instruments of Christlike change and growth. You and I never get to be married to a fully sanctified spouse. We will never be in a relationship with a completely mature friend. We will never live next to a neighbor utterly free of the need to grow and change. We will never have self-parenting children. We will never be near people who always think, desire, say, or do the right things. And the reason for all this is that our relationships are lived between the already and the not yet (p. 108)."

I particularly found the chapters on Hope and Mercy to be massively important. The authors have a way with crafting a sentence that strikes me deep down. For example, they describe Psalm 57 as pain-stained worship (p. 169). With regard to mercy they say:

"Mercy is my commitment to live along side you in this broken world even though I will suffer with you, for you, and because of you. I will do everything I can to relieve your distress." (p. 137)

I could continue to provide quotes but that may breach some copyright. I would highly recommend this book to all Christians. It is causing me to seriously address some issues in my life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A painful but outstanding read, 18 Oct. 2011
By 
J. Clark (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: RELATIONSHIPS A MESS WORTH MAKING (Paperback)
How should you react when the people you meet at work, live near, and love cause you pain? What about when you cause them pain? How should you view your best relationships?

Are you someone who withdraws from close relationship because you want to feel safe, or who throws yourself into close relationship because you can't live without it?

Did you know that difficult relationships are not a curse but a blessing?
That's not what you'd expect the Bible to teach, especially when Genesis 3-4 tells us that broken relationships are caused by our sinfulness.

Well questions like that, and surprising answers like that, are found in this excellent book from the CCEF stable.

The big take home message of the book is obvious from the title of the book: relationships will always be difficult because of our sinfulness, but it is precisely through sin-filled relationship that our God plans to change us to make us more like him. Therefore we must see them as worth all the hard work. As the book puts it "God keeps us in messy relationships for his redemptive purpose .... A difficult relationship is a mark of his love and care" (p12).

Having established that, the authors are brilliant at exposing the different ways in which we fight against that truth: how we twist the fact that relationships ought to be all about Him and instead make them all about us; how different types of sin show themselves in different ways.

These were painful sections to read because they revealed so much sin in our hearts, but along with the section on forgiveness, were in my view worth the price of the book on their own, especially since the authors so clearly point to the gospel as the only hope amidst all this sin!

So we must throw ourselves into relationship with one another, anticipating pains and difficulty and the exposing of our wickedness, but being prepared to endure those things for the sake of pointing one another to Christ and depending on him for his transforming power.

A couple of other quotes to give you a flavour:

"Christ is the only real hope for relationships because only he can dig deep enough to address the core motivations and desires of our hearts." p11

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself." - quoting C.S. Lewis, p89.

Thoroughly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars relationships a mess worth making, 1 Aug. 2013
This review is from: RELATIONSHIPS A MESS WORTH MAKING (Paperback)
Excellent book a must read authors come across very clear and give great advise on how to handle relaationships in a Godly way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 5 Mar. 2014
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Good all round approach I particularly enjoyed Chapter 5 agendas, great look at Ephesians 4 as a road map for relationships.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Truthful - Outstanding so far!!, 13 Feb. 2014
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Im a little unsure how i even found this book. However i got this when there was a free promotion.

I am only on chapter 6. But i can honestly say that so far this is an amazing book. It deals with the root cause of conflict in any relationship. Rather than point a finger as those who may have caused pain. It actually convicts to look at how we are in every relationship that we have. And how we can do better.
As i read this book. It has brought back to memory alot of things that i have been through in all types of relationships. And has caused me to reflect on how I could have dealt with those situations better.
As children of God we are called to live at a stanard far higher than what we often do. We are created to live a Christ like lifestyle and this also includes in our relationships. Often when conflict comes we shy away. Instead of dealing with them in accordance to how the bible describes.
Whilst this book has been written with hard hitting truths, it has been written in a very easy and understandable way.

This is a must have book for anyone who wants to crucify the flesh and live a life with relationships that are Christ-Centred. Worth every penny.

I fully intend on purchasing a paperback copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, 18 Oct. 2014
By 
Vic Stone (Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
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For those familiar with the author there are no surprises, but here is the teaching applied in everyday circumstances. Worth every page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 29 Jun. 2015
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Highly recommended there is some life changing ideas in this book. Made a real impact on me. Real theology in practice
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book!, 27 May 2015
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This review is from: RELATIONSHIPS A MESS WORTH MAKING (Paperback)
A brilliant book for considering the difference the gospel makes to our day-to-day relationships
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 April 2015
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A real eye opener, and a key to understanding that my heart needs opening too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Mar. 2015
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Good read .quite true
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RELATIONSHIPS  A MESS WORTH MAKING
RELATIONSHIPS A MESS WORTH MAKING by LANE AND TRIPP (Paperback - 8 Jan. 2010)
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