Sep 24, 2010

Ordering Your Private World

by Gordon MacDonald
Thomas Nelson Publisher

Gordon MacDonald first published this book in 1984 and published this updated version in 2007. -
I am slowly progressing through Ordering Your Private World and enjoying every morsel, as expected; I am a big Gordon and Gail MacDonald fan. The basic premise:

  • "The inner world of the spiritual must govern the outer world of activity."

  • "If neglected, this private world will not sustain the weight of events and stresses that press upon us."

  • The heart must be developed and maintained, "A wellspring of life from which you and others can drink,"

  • The heart's maintenance, protection and development is only possible by "A deliberate and disciplined choice."
MacDonald claims that an orderly inner world 1) strengthens our inner reserves for our own well being, and 2) will radiate influence in the outer world. He believes

"that one of the great battlegrounds of our age is the private world of the
individual. There is a contest that must be fought particularly by those
who call themselves practicing or observant Christians. Among them are
those who work hard, shouldering massive responsibilities at home, at work and
at church. They are good people, but they are very, very tired! And
thus they too often live on the verge of a sink-hole-like collapse."
You know it, right? You've seen it, maybe recently, in your own church. I have. Repeatedly. I can now predict it coming like a church meteorologist.
MacDonald begins there and leads to the difference between the "called" and the "driven." We must understand the difference before we can order our private world. I found the book's examples very interesting: King Saul was driven, John the Baptist was called. I had never really looked at these two side-by-side or noticed the similarities before. MacDonald distinguishes the two as such:

"Driven people often project a bravado of confidence as they forge ahead with
their achievement-oriented life plan. Called people possess strength from
within, a quality of perseverance and power that are impervious to the blows
from without."
"Called people possess an unwavering sense of

Controlling your inner world takes intention and determination. It won't happen by accident or negligence. I have to admit: the frantic, outer world of activity usually ruthlessly propels me.
I am looking forward to finishing this book. I might give you another review covering another step in the process or you might just have to read it for yourself. I strongly recommend it.
Gordon and Gail MacDonald are frequent guests on Moody Radio's Midday Connection. Here are links to some of the past programs:
Becoming People of God By Intention
A Resilient Life (I read this one, too, reviewed it here)
The Importance of Reading Biographies
Qualities of a Friend (I LOVED this one) My Post on the Friends Broadcast.
The Life of Caleb: There's Power in the life of Old People (!!)

There's a bazillion more shows featuring the MacDonalds here.
While I do review books for Thomas Nelson Publishers, I did not review this one for them. I bought this book and read it for my own pleasure and heartily recommend it.

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