After a long series of carpentry projects I found myself with some downtime. I saw that breather as a prime opportunity for shop cleanup. Even with my habit of maintaining a reasonably organized work environment stuff multiplies, and chaos finds a home.

Our lives have a way of attracting clutter. We gather baggage through the years and tote it along without realizing the extra load hinders progress and generates a host of issues. Often the clutter builds gradually, and we grow to accept it.

Cleaning the garage, tossing the junk, and reducing clutter are straightforward. We just need to motivate ourselves to start. But what about simplifying our lives? How do I learn to manage my schedule or deal with the unrelenting hurt from a wrong done to me? Is there a better approach to finances than the one I use?

Bill Hybels, in his book, Simplify, address 10 areas where we can benefit from a reduction in life-clutter. This book offers assistance in identifying the problem areas and provides practical coaching for making changes. Each chapter closes with action items to facilitate applying the lessons.

Chapter 1 conveys an extensive description of the symptoms of energy depletion coupled with advice on recharging. Do I know what things fill my energy bucket? Am I willing to say “no” to new commitments when I recognize I am depleted?

Chapter 4 paints a portrait of a miserable job and the ways it colors the rest of life. How do I find the right job? Hybels brings the question back to the root issue, “What adventure is God calling you to?”

For those wrestling with hurt and past wrongs, Chapter 5 digs into the topic. The author’s definition of forgiveness gives that discussion a fresh perspective. Certainly wrong was committed, and the pain is real, but our forgiveness does not rely on the other party. Hybels reminds us of the greatest example of forgiveness and the ideal we should pursue.

Throughout the book Hybels includes abundant examples from his life and ministry. That gives the book the flavor of practical conversation as the reader is taken behind the scenes to see how points were derived.

Appendix A addresses the selection of a life verse, and Appendix B offers an incredible selection of verses organized by category such as compassion, courage, and perseverance. These pages would be a great read several times each year as we remind ourselves of truth.

Are you struggling with life’s demands? Do you feel like a pet running in an exercise wheel with lots of motion but little progress? Are you ready for serious de-cluttering? Invest in your copy of Simplify and begin the journey.

Note – Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of Simplify to facilitate this review.

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