Jen Hatmaker’s new book, Seven, is a must read. Why else would I give it six out of five stars?!
I have literally never laughed so hard while reading a book, all the while feeling a hope filled conviction that things need to change.
“I considered omitting understuff from my wardrobe, but unleashing my free-swinging lady self onto this innocent world is probably a felony. No one deserves that kind of visual assault.” Seriously?! Who thinks like that! Hilarious.
Yet, my main focus will be to give some sound bites that are probing and a bit more serious.
Jen went on a seven month experiment. Each month was dedicated to fasting in some sort of way from a particular area. Here are the months and a thought about each focus.
Month One: Food
During a sermon she heard this month, the following questions were asked, which I also believe are incredibly heart probing thoughts.
1. What in my life, if taken away, would alter my value or identity?
2. What causes an unhealthy change of attitude, personality, or focus when “it” becomes threatened?
3. What is the thing outside of God that you put everything else on hold for?
Month Two: Clothes
I spend more just on clothes in one year than the average Ethiopian family earns in almost five.
His humility appeals to the unloveliness in us all. We are drawn in by His simplicity, then transformed by His magnificence.
Month Three: Possessions
These pretty clothes gave me confidence when I was terrified and uncertain…Clothes used to define me when my genuine identity was fuzzy. When I didn’t know who I was here for, I dressed like someone who did. I dolled up the container, but I’m learning that I am really just a jar of clay.
Month Four: Media
It’s okay to admit your worst struggles. To actual people. You don’t have to be awesome. You can be ordinary.
Self-hatred is not appropriate when God reveals a new angle. That is not the way of Christ, who abolished condemnation under the banner of grace.
Month Five: Waste
Appreciating creation means learning what it is capable of producing.
What does it mean to be a godly consumer? What if God’s creation is more than just a commodity?
Month Six: Spending
What if wealth and indulgence are creating polished people rotting from the inside out, without even knowing it?
What if we are camels, on this side of the needle, dangerously content with our fake gospel and avoiding the actual Christian life described in Scripture?
Month Seven: Stress
If we all lived radiantly, we simply couldn’t be hidden any longer. This is not about individual wattage; our power is communal, or it is meaningless.
This chapter has some of the most practical advice on prayer that I have ever read!
I hope that when you have read through each month that you may have asked the question, “What does this have to do with the month being discussed?” Part of how profound this book is written comes from its holistic nature. Honestly, the other part is that I want you to buy the book and find the connections for your self. Six out of five for Seven.