The Essentialism of Nonessentials

I just finished the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less┬áby Greg McKeon. This books really got me thinking. The book is about stripping away what is less important in your life and pouring yourself into what is most important or where you can have the biggest impact. It talks a lot about prioritizing, learning to say “no” to things that are less important, and how to be radically disciplined about how you spend your time and energy. It also challenged me to get rid of some clutter in my life.

I think this is an important lesson for people to get. As a Christian I think this is especially important because God has plans and purposes for us in our lives. It is a shame when people cannot say yes to God’s will because they didn’t say no to credit cards or poor life choices. I think it is sad for the Kingdom of God to miss our on our contributions because we are unorganized and undisciplined. Remember Jesus challenging Martha because her sister had made a better choice?

This book was very thought provoking for me. I both recommend it and think I will go back and reread some chapters.

At the same time, I think there is an important caveat to this discussion for Christians. Sometimes in God’s Kingdom the nonessential things is the most essential things. I know as a pastor that some interruptions are just interruptions and some interruptions are the most important thing I can be doing. How many times did Jesus not do the most essential thing and instead go to places where he would have random conversation or escape for prayer when he could have been building his congregation?

For Christians, the most essential thing is to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Sometimes that means we need structure and discipline. Sometimes that means looking for God in the distractions.

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