This term I am going to lead a book group on the great book, ‘the busy Christians guide to busyness’ by Tim Chester. I have read MANY books on time management, leadership and self development and attended numerous courses and conferences on the topic. However, this book stands out. So much so, this is the second time we have done it as a book club book!
It stands out because it looks at the theology of our time. That is, Tim looks at why we are busy. I believe it is a very biblical approach as Jesus would very often look at the heart behind the issues (like with money in Luke 16). Although the book did have many good tips on time management (chapters 3 and 4), it also set out how we should view work and busyness (chapters 5 and 6). However, it is chapters 7-12 that are the gems.
Tim looks at 6 reasons we make ourselves busy – and the titles are pure gold:
1. I’m busy because I need to prove myself – the liberating rest of God.
This is a classic. We take our worth and meaning from how much and what we do. We end up working longer and harder…but just making ourselves more and more tired.
Why? Because we wanted to prove our worth.
2. I’m busy because of other people’s expectations – the liberating fear of God.
This is a big one for pastors. People often assume we only work 1 day a week, or that we are lazy. Therefore we fill our diaries mercilessly in an effort to impress others and make them think I am worth the wage.
3. I’m busy because otherwise things get out of control – the liberating rule of God.
I am a control freak – actually, I am a micro manager. Why? Becuase I have confused the circle of responsibility and concern. Confused? Read the chapter!
4. I’m busy because I prefer being under pressure – the liberating refuge of God.
I always felt this was a good thing. I am now convinced that it is not – and I know that most men like to work this way. But Tim shows how this is just procrastination – as we love leisure or pride. For me, this was the best chapter as I felt Tim was just writting to me.
5. I’m busy because I need the money – the liberating joy of God.
This is brilliant for young parents and those with ‘proper’ jobs.
6. I’m busy because I want to make the most of my life – the liberating hope of God.
I won’t tell you what he means by that…you can read it yourself!
In all, a brilliant book that should be read by all.
If you are in the church you can buy a copy half price (£4) from SGYB.