When Work & Family Collide (book review)

Anyone NOT have a busy life? If your life is dull or uneventful, then you can stop reading this book review right now. However, if you have a full, busy life, you need to make the time to read When Work & Family Collide by Andy Stanley.

The subtitle of this book says it all: Keeping your job from cheating your family. The premise of this book is quite simple—you cannot fully satisfy both your office and your family, so someone is going to have to get cheated. In the introduction to the book, Andy Stanley says,

“Daily we decide to shortchange one thing in order to more fully experience another. …So we “cheat.” We give up certain opportunities for the sake of others. We invest in some relationships while neglecting others. We allocate our time the best we can, knowing all the while that somebody’s going to feel cheated. Unfortunately, that “somebody” is usually someone we care a great deal about.”

Pastor Stanley then goes on to outline why it’s so important that work gets cheated and not our families. One of my favorite quotes in the book is, “You do your job. You love your family. It’s when we reverse the order that the tension escalates and the tug of war begins.”

Like me, you may be thinking, “But I can’t ‘cheat’ on work! I’ll lose my job!” Using the biblical example of Daniel and some very practical advice, Andy Stanley helps you to see how you can keep your priorities in order, and make the adjustments that will help you do your job and love your family.

This book has some amazing thoughts, but it’s also a surprisingly easy read. In your busy, go-go-go schedule, you would be wise to make some time on a weekend to read this book, work through the discussion questions at the back of the book with your family, and then make the changes that will help both your work and your family to thrive. Everyone will benefit from this investment of your time.

I am a Multnomah book reviewer. Check out some of the quotes I shared from this book here.

Thursdays With Oswald—Guard Your Heart With Your Head

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Guard Your Heart With Your Head

     The Bible puts the head in the prominent position, not the central position; the head is the “finish off,” the manifestation of what the heart is like; the outward expression of the heart, as a tree is the outward expression of the root. This is the relationship between the head and the heart which the Bible reveals. 

     … In dealing with the Bible the danger is to come to it with a preconceived idea, to exploit it, and take out of it only what agrees with that idea. If we try, as has been tried by psychologists, to take out of the Bible something that agrees with modern science, we shall have to omit many things the Bible says about the heart. According to the Bible the heart is the center: the center of physical life, the center of memory, the center of damnation and of salvation, the center of God’s working and the center of the devil’s working, the center from which everything works which molds the human mechanism. 

From Biblical Psychology

Oswald Chambers was a holistic thinker: he knew the role of the Holy Spirit and the role of psychologists; he saw how the mind, spirit, and soul worked interdependently with each other. He never suggested that psychological issues be repaired with spiritual methods, nor that spiritual concerns be addressed by psychology.

But he also saw how easy it was to make heart matters (spiritual) concerns which should be addressed as head matters (psychological). The Bible says, “Above all else guard your heart, for from it flow all of the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

So how do I guard my heart? Part of guarding my heart does start with my head: I need to think about what’s going into my heart. But, as Oswald Chambers says, the head is just the “finish off” of what is happening in the heart. So ultimately, to keep my head in the right place, I need to guard my heart. I need to make my heart exclusively the home of the Holy Spirit, and allow Him free access to all of the concerns in my heart.

This is the only way I can “finish off” the right way.

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