Book Review: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

5_crazy-busy-cover_mediumIf you have never read anything by Kevin DeYoung, you ought to. His conversational writing style and biblically rational realism combine to form a symposium of humor, conviction, encouragement, and edification. Kevin DeYoung is the Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI. He is married with five children, an active member of The Gospel Coalition, blogger, speaker, author, and a doctoral student.

So what makes him qualified to write this book? That’s just it, he’s not. Honestly, that’s the beauty of it, he doesn’t claim to be. DeYoung confesses that he isn’t writing this book because he holds some special gnosis about this topic, nor has he mastered it. He writes this book because he is in the midst of this battle and by God’s grace he is in the midst of coming out of it. From the outset DeYoung is clear: this book is not a quick fix for your busy life. He says, “I want to understand what’s going on in the world and in my heart to make me feel the way I do. And I want to understand how to change–even just a little. Both tasks require theology.”[1]

Unlike most productivity and self-help books I have read, DeYoung is concerned with the heart of the matter (pun intended). “For most of us,” he writes, “it isn’t heresy or rank apostasy that will derail our profession of faith. It’s all the worries of life...Busyness kills more Christians than bullets.”[2]

He lists three dangers that likely plague a busy person:

  1. Busyness can ruin our joy.
  2. Busyness can rob our hearts.
  3. Busyness can cover up the rot in our souls.

(For more on that, click here).

DeYoung spends the next seven chapters offering diagnoses to consider. He concludes his book with the only solution to our busyness: Jesus. I know what you’re thinking, How does looking to Jesus help me deal with all of my busyness? Great question! DeYoung makes the observation that Mark’s (the Gospel author) favorite word is “immediately.” Each sequential event in Mark’s Gospel “immediately” proceeds the other. Using this observation, DeYoung brings attention to a pretty obvious, yet often neglected truth: “Jesus was a very busy man.”[3]

He goes on to say:

“Don’t think Jesus can’t sympathize with your busyness. You have bills that need to be paid? Jesus had lepers who wanted to be healed. You have kids screaming for you? Jesus had demons calling him by name. You have stress in your life? Jesus taught large crowds all over Judea and Galilee with people constantly trying to touch him, trick him, and kill him.”[4]

How, then, does Jesus deal with all this busyness? DeYoung writes, “Jesus knew the difference between urgent and important. He understood that all the good things he could do were not necessarily the things he ought to do.”[5]

This book motivated me to prod the root of my busyness– for me, it was pride. We are all busy. Even our kids our busy. But you really should try to carve out time to read this mercifully short book. I would recommend this book to: college and graduate students, young singles and old singles, young couples and old couples, young parents and old parents, business men and business women. People, if you don’t get the gist yet, if you have a pulse, I would recommend this book to you.

The free study guide, which includes a brief synopsis of each chapter and discussion questions, makes this book especially perfect for a small group setting.

You can buy this book here: Crazy Busy.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Crossway Publishing for this review. I have not received any compensation for writing this post. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

[1] Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway 2013),17.

[2] Ibid., 29-30.

[3] Ibid., 54.

[4] Ibid., 55.

[5] Ibid., emphasis his.