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Ten practices to unclutter your soul

Recommended Bill Hybels book that highlights areas of life that can get out of focus – and offers practical insights for making changes to create a life with greater peace

SimplifySimplify: ten practices to unclutter your soul
By Bill Hybels
Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN No: 978-1-473-60483-4
Reviewed By: Jeannie Kendall

I have to confess to a bias: I like Bill Hybels a great deal. Our church leadership go every year to the Global Leadership Conference and have always benefited from it, and particularly from his wise and honest ministry. So I came to this book expectant, and I was not disappointed.

I was caught immediately by the beginning, where he explains with characteristic frankness that he knows far too much about being overwhelmed and exhausted – feelings all too familiar in ministry. With helpful anecdotes (even allowing for the American context), he addresses ten aspects which he believes will contribute to a simpler and less stressful life, and in this instance it is worth delineating the chapters:

  • From exhausted to energised: replenishing your energy reserves
  • From overscheduled to organised: harnessing your calendar’s power
  • From overwhelmed to in control: mastering your finances
  • From restless to fulfilled: refining your working world
  • From wounded to whole: making room for forgiveness
  • From anxious to peaceful: conquering your fears
  • From isolated to connected: deepening your relational circles
  • From drifting to focused: claiming God’s call on your life
  • From stuck to moving on: welcoming new seasons in your life
  • From meaningless to satisfied: the legacy of a simplified life

I have deliberately included this as I suspect at different stages of our lives there will be particular chapters that resonate. It is a book to take something from, and come back to another time. It might be equally overwhelming to tackle all ten areas at once!

At the end Bill talks about finding a “life verse” – a biblical word of encouragement and challenge as a rallying call, and focus, for our particular life and calling. This may be lifelong, or change over time. I’ve not settled on one myself, but it is certainly food for thought.

It would also work well as a thematic sermon series, and indeed there are additional resources available. I highly recommend this book.

Jeannie Kendall is co-minister of Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church

Baptist Times, 12/08/2016
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