If you’ve wrestled even a tiny bit with the excess of America’s culture in light of what it means to be a believer in Christ, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, just may ignite your passion to pursue the why behind the what, and reevaluate decisions you make from how you spend your time to what technology you use to what you throw in your trash can.
This being the first Jen Hatmaker book I’ve read, I came to this book after hear many different friends echo that it changed their way of viewing the resources God has entrusted to them. The movement to question why we do things and how we put into practice Christian living has been greatly affected by writers such as Hatmaker, and the world of Christendom is better for it.
Hatmaker bravely tackles seven different zones of consumption including food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress–one month at a time. She builds a plan for each in order to reduce her intake and to draw more closely to God during the mutiny of excess project–she even drags her family along for the ride as she works through wearing only seven items of clothing, eating only seven foods, and other somewhat wacky sounding reductions that strangely enough bring about an awareness in her that bleeds out from the book and into the reader’s heart.
Hatmaker’s husband is a pastor, and they have lived in the world of “Church” for years, so she lends an interesting point of view that is not only gripping in her stream of consciousness style of writing, it is moving to read along as she goes through the ups and downs of God working in her spirit as she wrestles through each area of her own life.
In her chapter on Media, Hatmaker lists out all the technology around their house and even gets her kids on board with ditching their four gaming systems, computers, five TVs, DVR, DVD players, and handheld Nintendo DSs.
What began as advances in the ease of communication has become something that clutters and consumes. Media ‘noise’ is everywhere, and some perspective would do us all some good,” Hatmaker notes.
Like any other addiction or seemingly harmless form of entertainment, technology can quickly become an idol in the hearts of the youngest child up to the oldest grandparent if we’re not careful.
Hatmaker’s book is funny, engaging, enjoyable, thoughtful, and provides ample room for you to draw your own conclusions and make adjustments to your lifestyle as the Holy Spirit leads you. While written mainly for a female audience, anyone who is interested in reevaluating the typical American lifestyle would benefit from pondering the life of American excess through Hatmaker’s eyes.