Fueled by technology, burnout is quick on its way to disintegrating societal functions. Few recognize the trouble it causes and many are unaware of the symptoms that precipitate it. After facing the punishing journey himself, David Murray was approached to tackle the topic on behalf of pastors and ministry laborers. Thus, his recent released book, Reset, deals frankly and efficiently with that topic.
The depth of God’s grace is astounding, and when rightly plumbed can is both humbling and an extension of life. Recognizing who we are and God’s provision of grace then, David Murray sets out to conquer the issue of burnout by training readers to “live out grace-paced lives by connecting God’s grace more and more to daily lives” (location 185). It is a book geared primarily towards men, and even more specifically to men in ministry and/or leadership roles. This does not mean that others will not benefit from it. Quite the contrary. However, the assessment and application are heavily geared towards that target audience (it should be noted that his wife, Shona, is writing a sequel to this book geared towards women).
The book is easy to read with 10 chapters (which he called ‘repair bays’) all beginning with the letter ‘r’ (reality check, review, reset, re-create, relax, rethink, reduce, refuel, relate, and resurrection). The first two chapters offer in-depth assessments that require deep self-examination combined with both humility and honest. Upon that assessment the next seven chapters offer insights into specific life areas that impact burnout and practical implementations to avoid and overcome burnout. Finally, chapter ten offers hope with a long list of items that are transformed and impacted by living a grace-filled life.
One of the things to be appreciated about Murray’s writing is the humility with which he conveys his points. First, having dealt with the serious issue of burnout himself, he is able to write from a perspective of experience and compassion for the situation. However, this seems to be the character of all his writings as he seeks to guide people in their relationship with the Lord from a genuine love of God and His people.
Specifically with this new book, Reset, the author brings an intense theology into routine life features. For example, Murray deals with topics of eating, sleeping, and exercise, but he does so first by examining their theology. He sets their importance not upon man’s desires or needs, but upon God’s own instruction. Only after having done that does he go further to explain their implications for personal living. From that deep theology then comes constructive relevance.
Despite the serious topic, significant consequences, and substantial applications that are addressed in Reset, the book is easy to read. However, it is a read that requires a person to be genuine in his or her assessment of self. The book forces a self-examination and revelation that many will not want to face and yet it is a worthwhile confrontation. Even for those not dealing with burnout itself, Murray’s biblical insight into the issue is sure to aid readers in being on guard for it, protecting against it, and will most likely reveal certain areas to be reigned under control.
In the past year several books about burnout have been released. Of those, Murray’s is the best thus far because it provides action for readers. More than capitulating that a problem exists, Reset helps diagnosis a problem and then prescribes a biblical means for resolving it. Therefore, it is a book to be utilized immensely as burnout becomes a routine problem.
To purchase a copy the book, click here. David Murray also routinely writes at his own blog, Head, Heart, and Hand and for 2017 has decided to primarily (not exclusively) focus on dealing with technology and reigning in its control over our lives. He has posted some incredibly helpful content related to that topic that is worth your perusal as well.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost for the purposes of review. However, in no way was I influenced by them. The review posted is a result of my own reading of the book.