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Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture

(Grace-Paced Life)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  982 ratings  ·  196 reviews
Largely due to overwork and the stresses of modern life, men in work and ministry are increasingly run-down, anxious, and depressed. But is this level of physical and spiritual weariness inevitable? Just as a car needs to be regularly refueled, retuned, and repaired in order to keep running, a balanced life can be sustained only when a man takes proper steps to stay on ...more
Published March 31st 2017 by christianaudio (first published March 2017)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  982 ratings  ·  196 reviews

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Kate Hacker
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book addresses the widespread problem of burnout, but particularly focuses on Christian men and pastors specifically. Despite not being in the target audience I found many of his points universally relevant (though he and his wife have written an equivalent book for women).

Slight critiques: he covers many topics (stress, technology use, mental health, poor eating and sleeping habits, stretching ourselves too thin) that have all individually been better addressed in other books (such as
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So packed full of practical insights and key advice. This book needs to be read by all who are caught in the treadmill of busyness. It furthermore needs to reviewed frequently and it’s principles consistently applied. I benefited greatly from it!
I will begin by telling you what I wish I had known before I requested it to review: this is a book for men. Throughout the book, he stresses that it is for men again and again. He hints that a book for women, I believe written by his wife, will be written and eventually published. But this book is FOR MEN. It has manly-man metaphors throughout.

The premise of this one is that Christian men burnout easily and most--if not all--need to be RESET. He argues that there is often a huge disconnect
Jonathan Newman
When I came across this book on amazon, it helped me to have the courage to admit to myself and others that I am burned out and in need of a new way of living and doing ministry that is sustainable and actually more joy-filled than draining.

I am so grateful for this book. It is very practical, holistic, and down-to-earth grace-filled wisdom. It’s very sobering but also has great potential to save you from burnout or give you hopeful steps to recover. I so appreciated how he laid out that there
Peter Yock
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A helpful read. I enjoyed the testimony of a pastor who's ended up overworking so much in ministry that he hospitalised himself more than once. His advice is great - and the broad spectrum of the 'repair bays' he takes you through throughout the book were comprehensive and well-thought through. It was good, for example, to read a book on avoiding pastoral burnout that highly prioritised the importance of physical exercise - I don't think I've come across that before, but in my own experience is ...more
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess it was good, but man, I don't think I've ever not connected so much with a book.

I feel like I have a very low-stress outlook on life. I work but don't feel like I'm overworked. I'm very happy with how things are going, grateful to God for the position I'm in, and feel energized by the types of situations I've been put in recently, and I don't thing I have a problem with saying "no" when I feel I'm getting too busy. The types of stress and the symptoms he talks about...I just don't have I
Mark Donald
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent work, highly recommended.

Convicting and encouraging catalyst for thinking through the race that the Lord has called me to and how God's grace is the fuel for faithful ministry. I plan to return to this book with some regularity to examine my own ministry and motives, as well as to seek a pace which rests in God's grace, but also seeks to be faithful to fight the good fight and run the race well.

I think everyone will benefit from reading this book whether their full time vocation is
Justin Heck
This book is specifically geared towards men, especially pastors. For years, I have heard of pastors getting "burned out." I have not experienced burnout yet. David Murray gives practical advice on how I might avoid ever getting to that point. He discusses how I should take care of myself spiritually and physically, and how those two categories are more related than we might think.

I consider this a must-read for Christian men, especially pastors. (His wife is working on a similar book for women
Kevin Halloran
The most transformational books are the ones that meet you where you are in life and help you in your situation. Reset is a book I badly needed--I didn't realize how much I needed it until reading it.
Ben Mordecai
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audiobook
I didn't expect for this book to apply as much as it did. Most of the advice in the book wasn't completely new information I never knew before as much as it was simply good advice and useful encouragement to take seriously the charge to tend to your own affairs, take care of yourself, and build good habits in order that your life can be better dedicated to the Lord. Rather than much of the selfish "self-care" in the modern world based on seeking your own happiness as the highest aim, this book ...more
Melanie Mead
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic book. Practical, easy to read, yet rooted in biblical theology, and emphasising the grace of God. I bought it before I realised that it was aimed at men, but the author said he was writing for a broad audience; it felt very applicable to both men and women, people in ministry and people not in ministry. I have since read the women's version too (Refresh) which is also excellent. Having read both though, I think I actually preferred Reset. The reason for that was that it had ...more
Ben Chapman
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, audiobook
I really like David Murray and his teaching style. This book was very helpful for me at just the right time. I imagine I’ll need it and hope to revisit it for many years to come.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
5 stars because of how much I need it? A timely book for me. I was surprised and pleased at how practical this book is. I kept waiting for it to get to the specifically spiritual section... and it never did. Make no mistake, Reset is a thoroughly theological book -- but Murray's purpose is to deal with realities of rest, exercise, diet, relationships, use of time, etc. Very helpful indeed.
Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray is an excellent treatment of the problems men (especially pastors) face in midlife and the need for intentional rest, renewal, and restoration. Murray relates how his own experience of burnout and resulting health problems in his forties led to serious changes in his lifestyle. This book is, in many ways, like Wayne Cordeiro's Leading on Empty (a book Murray seems unaware of, or at least never quotes). In some respects, it is ...more
I never knew how much I had burned out. I didn't recognize the signs that God was trying to show me. It took Him giving me catastrophe, helplessness and depression to fully realize my situation. I can proudly say I have been on the upward incline for a few weeks, or trying to be. This book made me fully realize where I was, and that I'm going to prevent this from ever happening again. Granted, this book is aimed towards men of ministry, but I was able to get some excellent advice and there were ...more
Matt Tyler
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This book is excellent.

If you are overworked, burned out, stressed, depressed, dissatisfied with your life, work, family, church, or if there’s the potential for any this one day then you should read this very excellent book. In addition to being water for your weary soul, it will probably prove to be a fountain that benefits others in your life as well.

I highly recommend this book.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murray writes with deep understanding of the human mind and body. He ably dissects the myriad ways we can exhaust ourselves and pastorally applies biblical wisdom to reset for God's glory and our good. Forces the reader to evaluate bad habits in thinking and action. A good kind of painful read.
Benjamin Shurance
This is a great book of practical theology. I listened to the audio version read by the author, who it turns out is Scottish. The earlier chapters seemed stronger than the latter, but this is probably due in a large part to my listening environment (jogging/cooking vs. road trip).
Jonathan Roberts
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, own
Phenomenal book. My wife read Refresh by this author’s wife while I read this! Totally changed how we talked and communicated about our relationship and the difficult (busy) season we find ourselves in. Amazing!!! Highest recommendation!!!
L-T Hopper
Extremely helpful and practical.
Ross H
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT! Should be required reading for all pastors!
Tim Siepman
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to read for men, whether or not they are in ministry (although it is focused on me in ministry). Murray manages to use the metaphor of a vehicle needing repairs to guide the reader through various repair bays pointing out the signs of burnout and then several solutions to solve burnout. All this is done with the aid of scriptural wisdom. A must read for those who seem to be working too hard or suffering with burnout.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good writing. Great concepts. A necessary read for anyone feeling burned out and frazzled. I didn’t agree with everything the author said, and since it was written for pastors, I am not likely to follow every suggestion. But it was still a good read. Would love to read his wife’s version of the same concepts, but for women.
Joshua Baker
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple yet profound.

Practical and rounded in good theology. Very helpful for those who are starting to think "I can't do this much longer."
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So much of our drivenness stems from a false belief in a driven God, a view of God as a slaveholder, a harsh taskmaster who can never be satisfied by anything less than his people being in a perpetual state of miserable exhaustion. But now, with a focus on God as a loving Heavenly Father, as a slave emancipator, as gracious, as delighting in His people, as the happy giver of all good gifts to his children, as the rester and and refresher of His people, as the feeder and the waterer of his ...more
Stacy Kooker
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was excellent and so helpful. I’m looking forward to reading the one he co-wrote with his wife.
Matthew Mitchell
I believe David Murray was talking about me:

“If you picked up this book, there’s a good chance that God has enrolled you in WU [Wilderness University], though you may be reluctant to attend classes. Sometimes I find men who are afraid to admit they need a reset. They are scared of what they will find out about themselves and apprehensive about what changes will be required in their lives. When I talk to them about the adjustments they need to make, they often resist. When I tell them they have
Timothy Lugg
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reset is a needed resource for church leaders. The author faced a health crisis several years ago which prompted him to reevaluate his life habits. He generously shares with others the lessons he learned so that they can form convictions that will avoid Murray's mistakes. He writes with a clear and straightforward style that makes the book easy and pleasurable to read. Because men are his audience, he uses a framework and illustrations that appeal to men. His premise is that there are very ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband read this book after leaving his previous job, and when I felt myself nearing a burnout, I decided to read it too. It’s technically for men and particularly for pastors, but I love reading and didn’t feel like waiting for the “women’s version” to come out (it’s called Refresh, by the way), plus I’m married to a man and I work for pastors, so I figured it would be helpful regardless. And it was. There are two primary things the Lord has been teaching me lately, partly through this ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though Murray explicitly states this book is written for men or women seeking to better understand their husbands, I found it so incredibly helpful. I may not have understood all the comparisons to auto maintenance, but I also know quite a few men who that would also mean nothing for. For the past few years I have slowly found myself shifting from Type A to Type B - from a sprinter to a distance runner (literally) - but I haven't known how to practically change my life's practices to ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

David P. Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and worked for five years in financial services before being converted to Christ. He studied for the ministry at Glasgow University and the Free Church of Scotland

Other books in the series

Grace-Paced Life (2 books)
  • Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands
“Many of our problems happen not only because we do the wrong things, but also because we believe the wrong things. Behind many seemingly practical problems are theological problems.” 2 likes
“Retired pastor Al Martin told me that he was frequently contacted by young pastors he had trained who were just months into their ministries. They would say: “Help, Pastor Martin! I can’t pray, I can’t study, I can’t sleep, I can’t go on. I think I’m going to have to resign.” “Here’s your problem,” Pastor Martin would calmly reply. “You’re trying to live like a disembodied angel rather than flesh-and-blood humanity. Here’s your solution: first, exercise vigorously three times a week. Second, take one full day off a week. And third, spend at least one evening a week with your wife.” 1 likes
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