Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul is the latest book by Bill Hybels, founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Simplified living requires uncluttering your soul, and there are no shortcuts. Total honesty is necessary in crafting a custom replenishment plan to counter the price of toxic depletion. The key question is: “How would you spend your time if God were in charge of it?”
Pastor Hybels emphasizes our schedule should be far less about what we want to get done and far more about who we want to become. There is power in a single word written on one’s schedule and lived out with intentionality. It is essential to put God first and keep our priorities on track. In order to do this, a financial reconciliation with God may need to take place- where the power of God breaks the power of money in our life. When we’re fully reconciled to God financially, we joyfully can accept God’s current level of provision.
Another key step in simplifying life is examining our work life. Pastor Hybels finds it helpful to filter potential jobs through four foundational alignments: passion, culture, challenge, and compensation. Ultimately each one of us must come to terms with our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, and we must forgive. The author notes that forgiveness has two dimensions- internal release and extension of mercy. Everyone’s forgiveness timetable is different. Fear also is closely associated with job loss. Life is simplified by eradicating pockets of fear running rampant beneath the surface. The journey to overcoming fear is a joint venture in partnership with God.
To be a good steward of life, we need to surround ourselves with wise, mature, good people of high character and have a realistic understanding of others’ natural influence. Furthermore, everyone needs a life verse. A life verse must personally resonate, guide our path, give us a reference point, and reflect God’s guidance in our lives. In addition, thinking of life in terms of temporary seasons helps us to recognize the active movement of God’s hand in our current season and that there’s purpose to His activity. Moving on means saying yes to the unknown. Pastor Hybels concludes:
“Be quick to say yes to the things that empower you – directly and indirectly- to lead a life of eternal significance.”