ReSET: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray (Crossway, 2017)

Some of the best books I’ve read deliver hard medicine. They provide real soul care. That’s the case with David Murray’s ReSET. It brings necessary gospel medicine to all those who are crazy busy and feel overtaken by a burnout culture.

You would think that a pastor like me would already have the “grace-paced life” of the author’s subtitle. Sadly, my profession—and often my personal ministry—demonstrates the problem. ReSET was written after a life-threatening crisis that Murray, himself a pastor, faced. But Murray paid attention to God’s kind discipline, and this book is the result.

I am a David Murray junky. I read as many of his books as I can. He is biblically smart, incredibly balanced, and eminently practical. Books like Christians Get Depressed Too deal with real issues. Murray writes clearly, he makes cultural connections, and he holds a kind, pastoral posture toward the reader.

So, here are three reasons why you should read ReSET:

  1. It deals with hard stuff well. One reviewer, Jemar Tisby, commented, “Murray pries our fingers from the death grip we have on the idol of activity.” There are plenty of books that deal with this idol by slinging guilt and putting you under some new law. Not so with ReSET. The book is premised on understanding forms of grace that can shape life patterns and rhythms.
  2. The book has a grand purpose. It’s not just about getting your schedule under control. Its purpose is self-care with a view to loving your neighbor. Self-care, as Murray observes, is “the first step in caring for others.”
  3. Murray lays out a step-by-step path toward resetting your life. Like bringing a car into the shop, he walks you through nine different “repair bays,” including: Reality Check, Re-Create, Relax, Reduce, Refuel, and Resurrection. Knowing about these bays is, itself, worth the price of the book.

ReSET is especially, but not exclusively, intended for men. It easily lends itself to group discussion and Lenten self-examination. A sequel coauthored with his wife Shona, ReFRESH: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands, might be similarly encouraging for women.

Learn more about the book:

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