Andy Stanley is the pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta.  I wish I had known this when I was in Atlanta this year as I may have dropped in on the Sunday I was around.  I seem to like how Andy thinks and find his books resonate with me in a surprising manner.

So his book Choosing to Cheat: What Happens When Family and Work Collide was a challenge for me.  It is still on the bedside of my wonderful wife as we have lots more of it to discuss.

The basic thesis that Andy puts forward is that we all have the same amount of time in a day it is our choice on how we use it.  The balance we need to work out is between family life and work life.

I understand Andy’s basic point to be that the only place we can not be replaced is in our family.  At work or at church our employer or God could replace us.  We are the ones who make our family though and without us being present the family does not exist.  For the other areas of life we may find that these are diminished without our presence but they do not stop existing.  I think there is an argument here that if we were all not  at church it would no longer exist (depending on your theology) but somehow the nature of being God’s people limits this in some manner.

Andy actually puts this into practice and works only 45 hours per week.  He says his staff get frustrated that he is not always around.  I just hope these staff are single people rather than ignoring what their pastor teaches.

Another analogy Andy uses earlier on is if one partner of a marriage keeps the other partner hanging it is like asking a friend to hold a heavy rock for a long time.  Eventually the friend drops it not because of unwillingness but because it is so hard over such a long period.  This one has struck home for us and we are re-assessing how we work (or don’t work) as a team.

For me the theological issue like usual is how do we express Jesus is Lord not just in confession but in how we live?  this book challenges us to get it right at home by having the right priorities at work.

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