In our fast-paced digital world where everyone is always on the move, it happens quite often that we end up not taking good care of ourselves. We are in a hurry, so we eat convenient foods that are unhealthy, foods that are not good fuel for our bodies and brains. We don’t have time to exercise or get outside much, so we put on extra weight and lose mobility and flexibility. We stay up late staring at a screen, so we get less than 7 hours of sleep most nights. We spend too much time on our phones and social media, so we kill our attention spans and hamstring our mental capabilities. We have so much to do that we rarely take serious downtime to relax and reflect. Sometimes all of these things weigh us down to the point of anxiety attacks or depression. At minimum, these things seriously sap us as humans – as Christians – and keep us from having a fuller life.
David and Shona Murray talk about all these things in their excellent book, Refresh. In fact, one reason they wrote this book is because Shona did experience panic attacks and depression. Through her experience, she learned the hard way about a more balanced and biblical lifestyle. I appreciate how the authors note that we are complex creatures, so fatigue, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and the like aren’t always simply a result of personal sin. There are various other factors that sometimes intertwine. Shona says that “one of the biggest breakthroughs on the way to healing comes when we take that holistic approach to causes and cures” (p. 49).
This book isn’t a moralistic guide to better living. Instead, it’s a Christian approach to life that emphasizes the fact that since we belong to Christ – body and soul – we need to manage our lives for his glory. We have to take care of the body which Christ bought by his death, the body which is a temple of the Holy Spirit, the body in which Paul calls us to glorify God (1 Cor. 6:18-19). I appreciate how Murray shoots for a good balance in these areas, not calling us to extremes, but thoughtful moderation. Balance is the key!
If your life is a whirlwind and you really feel cruddy quite often, I’d recommend this book. Or, if you would like some wise Christian direction for a balanced lifestyle, you’d appreciate this book. As I said in an earlier post, although it is sort of aimed at women, men can for sure benefit from it as well. I implemented some of the suggestions in the book, and it has helped my concentration and studies already. I’m sure it’ll be a blessing to you as well.
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