Broadman & Holman
Because this book's title, Living with Less: The Upside of Downsizing Your Life, implies it will provide specific help for readers who want to "cut back," it is only fair to begin a review of it by pointing out what the book does not give readers. There are no financial budgeting systems by which to earn less money while still meeting expenses for daily life; there are no time management plans by which to add hours to your day for leisure time and cultural activities while still living up to your family and job responsibilities; and there are no magic formulas by which you can relax more while still staying faithful to an exercise regime for good health. This book doesn't cover pragmatic solutions for today's world.
Instead, Tabb explores how to enhance one's personal character by developing humility, cutting back to a slower pace, and enhancing a sense of servitude to others. The value of this book is that it causes individuals to question what is of genuine merit in their lives. Tabb makes some good points about how we need to listen more to other people, share more, teach more, love more, and appreciate more. He quotes everyone from Solomon to Dave Barry in making the point that accumulating "stuff" is not the secret of happiness.
My recommendation is not to read the book in one or two sittings, as I did, because of its repetition of theme and examples. However, reading one chapter every week or so can provide perspective regarding the need to pull back a bit from the hectic antics of our break-neck-speed world. Even the Bible tells us to “be temperate in all things.” -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
Christians are called to live a life that matters, one that’s God-centered and eternally driven. So, in a world focused on stuff, schedules and inflated egos, how can Christians sift through the clutter to de-stress, de-accumulate and downsize in order to live lives that touch the souls of those around them?
In his new book, Living with Less: The Upside to Downsizing Your Life, Mark Tabb asserts that the road to true happiness is built on the desire to make a lasting impression on future generations.
“Life isn’t about acquiring more. It’s about living a life that touches the hearts of both God and man. Proverbs says a sterling reputation is better than striking it rich. This is what living with less is all about,” Tabb concludes.
The author understands that the concept, a life-altering alternative in today’s “more” driven world, can be a challenge. A stay-at-home dad, Tabb and his wife, Valerie, committed to live with less when their first daughter was born. He wrote Living with Less as a real-world, often humorous, guide for Christians who want more of God and less of self in their daily lives.
“Give stuff away. Simplify your lifestyle. Deflate your opinion of yourself. Choose less because less is more,” he says. Other tips that Tabb shares include leave room for extravagance and enjoy what you have has a gift from God. “Living with less doesn’t mean that you never buy anything for yourself or that you give all your money away. It means that you use your money as God’s money and spend it wisely.”