Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul, by Bill Hybels, is an engaging book that offers practical steps towards simplifying your soul and life. Defining a simple life is never an easy task, but Bill Hybels offers his take on simplification, covering a wide range of topics that often aren’t thought about when someone begins striving for a simple life. He covers key areas, from financial issues and scheduling, to finding fulfilling work and following God’s calling. It’s not what I expected to read about when I picked up the book, but I’m glad I read it.
As a young adult who has only recently entered the “real world” workforce, I find this book to be a huge road sign in the middle of my pathway. Rather than digging out of the hole of a completely cluttered life, this book offers ways to not just overcome that, but avoid it altogether. I wasn’t sure how applicable this book would be, but after reading, I feel better equipped to make some of those big life decisions, and hopefully make choices that maintain my simplified life.
The parts of the book that spoke to me the most were Chapter 2, which dealt with scheduling, and Chapter 8, which dealt with the seasons of life. Chapter 2 offered great ideas for how to manage your schedule, rather than letter your schedule manage you. I loved how Hybels schedules in family time. He doesn’t pencil it in; he inks it in. This was just one of the ideas that will stick with me. Chapter 8 helped me accept the idea that life happens in seasons, and recognizing those seasons can make life a lot simpler. Once you identify what type of season you’re in, it’s easier to respond to what’s happening with less stress and worry.
I lived in Africa for a few years, where developing a simplified lifestyle was a survival technique, not an option. In that place where life moved slower and the clock ruled no one, life became simpler. My soul felt more peaceful. Upon return to the workforce in the USA, I noticed things start to change, and my simplified life became hurried. This book helped me get a grasp on this, and gives me the tools I need to maintain a simplified life and soul.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to slow down, prioritize relationships, and find greater peace. This book won’t disappoint. I would particularly recommend this book to young adults like myself, who feel like they are being sucked into a vortex of busyness, responsibility, and work. It’s a slippery slope between being challenged and being overwhelmed, and this book will help you avoid a cluttered soul.
About the Author
Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and chairman of the board for the Willow Creek Association. The bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Axiom, Holy Discontent, Just Walk Across the Room, The Volunteer Revolution, Courageous Leadership, and classics such as Too Busy Not to Pray and Becoming a Contagious Christian, Hybels is known worldwide as an expert in training Christian leaders to transform individuals and their communities through the local church. Hybels received a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Deerfield, Ill. He and his wife, Lynne, have two adult children and one grandson, Henry.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House for the purpose of a review on this site and on a commercial bookseller site. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.