Some Christians do not pay attention to the state of their souls. The result may be a very disappointing faith journey. MacDonald shares when he came to the realization that the state of his soul did not point to a promising future. His soul was empty. He had not paid attention to keeping it filled. He determined to order his private world and lets us in on what he learned.
MacDonald initially wrote this book decades ago. Now now he is 78 years old. He has added to this updated edition what he has learned since the initial release of the book.
This process of ordering our private world is a long process. It is a deliberate and disciplined choice. MacDonald does remind us that guarding our heart, another way of describing ordering our private world, is a core biblical issue.
A number of topics are covered. MacDonald looks at being driven and how it differs from being called. He covers having a sense of mission and other suggestions on managing time. He writes of the importance of being a listener and reader. He suggests the daily exercise of confession. He encourages Sabbath rest.
I love his section on the cost of mental flabbiness. Many have not taught themselves how to think. They have not “set themselves on the lifelong pursuit of the growth of the mind.” (89) They grow dependent upon the thoughts and opinions of others. He reminds us that we have the mind of Christ and should exhibit excellence of thought.
I like this exploration of how to keep the soul in good shape. There are not structured lists of things to do but rather thought provoking observations and suggestions. This is a good book for Christians who feel there is something missing on the inside. You'll get ideas for a diagnosis and suggestions for the cure. There is a good study guide included for reflective writing and group discussion.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor and author for more than fifty years. He presently serves as chancellor at Denver Seminary. He speaks at leadership conferences around the world. He and his wife live in New Hampshire.
W Publishing Group (Thomas Nelson), 256 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.