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Archive for March 24th, 2015

Crazy Busy Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung. Crazy Busy.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2013. 128 pp.

This book is relevant for everyone.  It is a neat little book on busyness by Pastor Kevin DeYoung.  I used this book in the context of discipleship with one of the members of our church.  I do recommend it for either personal reading or reading in a discipleship context.  In a world in which many people are so busy, this book approaches the subject spiritually.  It is both theological and practical.

I appreciated how early in the book DeYoung tells the reader that he’s not writing this book because he’s mastered the subject but rather he’s writing this for his own edification and that he’s “trying to figure things out.”  His humility and description of his problem is one that would make readers connect with the author.

In the second chapter of the book DeYoung goes over three dangers to avoid when it comes to busyness.  DeYoung reminds us that while there are books that talk about the physical risk of being overly busy, we must not forget the spiritual threat that busyness can be to our own faith.  We must not allow the busyness of work and life rob our hearts and joy while also examining to see if our busyness is a way of covering up the rots in our soul.

The bulk of the book goes over the seven diagnoses DeYoung identifies with the problem of busyness.  They are all very good but two stands out among them for me personally.  It was very edifying to read his discussion about how busyness can be a manifestation of pride.  Here DeYoung gives us what he calls the “Killer P’s” that are the many faces of pride such as the fact that we can be busy because we want to please people, get pats on our backs or desire for perfectionism, etc.  DeYoung poses to the reader a good question to test if our busy work is for God or for our pride: “Am I trying to do good or to make myself look good?”  I also appreciate DeYoung’s discussion about technology that strangles our soul.  It is wonderful to see DeYoung address this issue in a world of social media and smart phones.  He’s not doing this to show he’s hip and up to date since he talks about how fleeting technology is, given how fast things change but he’s addressing this pastorally.  I appreciated how in this chapter DeYoung not only talk about the obvious risk of addiction but also the threat of acedia which he describe as something like sloth but has the aspect of indifference and spiritual forgetfulness.  It is the condition where we are busy but not with something important but being busy with being busy, where are content to do things that are purposeless and shallow in the passing of time.

I appreciated how the book ends not with a call to not be busy—but rather DeYoung is realistic in that we cannot forsake all things in order to not be busy.  He does have a chapter titled “Embracing the Burdens of Busyness” and his final chapter was very appropriate in that he tells us that in the middle of all our task, there is one thing we must do even if it’s not man-centered pragmatic: we must make the time to be closer to Jesus.  Excellent!

I highly recommend this book.  There is a reason why it is the 2014 Christian Book of the Year.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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