7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

In this book, Jen Hatmaker asks the question What would happen if we decided to live more simply? Jen takes that challenge. Jen, living the average American life, decided to take a step against greed, overindulgence, and materialism after a poor child called her “rich”. Jen never thought of herself as rich; however when, realizing in comparison to some, she was rich the decision to start this experiment was made.

7 An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Features and Strengths 

Spiritual Disciplines:  Jen Hatmaker uses scripture and stories to draw people in, and show her readers how Christ wants us to live our lives- “simply filled with generosity and love.” We are so use to all of this “stuff” in our lives and churches. Would the early church recognize today’s church? We live in a world of consumerism and overindulgence where coffee bars now appear in our churches. How are we truly using our money? Christ spoke about giving to the poor, helping widows, and being generous. How much of our lives today are filled with a bunch of “extras”? Jen encourages us to not only be good stewards of our money, but our possessions as well.  There is also a matter of faith, prayer and surrendering to God. We are encouraged to follow Biblical principles and take care of those in need. 

Easy to read: Jen attacks this project by taking 7 months to give up and identify 7 major areas of excess (clothes, spending, waste, food, possessions, media, and stress) and give up a category each month. Jen takes us back to the basics, and really back to God. This is a book that truly challenges readers to go back to the basics in an overindulgent society, and live in a way that shows Jesus in every aspect of our lives. 

 Challenge: Jen challenges her readers throughout the book to not necessarily go to the same extent used in her experiment, but to find what changes we can fit into our own lives personally. Eliminating the use of seven media types, giving away seven things each day, adopting seven green habits, pausing seven times a day for prayer to reduce stress, only eating seven foods, wearing seven articles of clothing and spending money in seven places—this was the challenge that Jen, her family and panel of friends were taking on for seven months.  She encourages us to waste less, be good stewards of our time, money and possessions, causing us to become more Christ-like during this process.


Jen goes through an incredible seven-month challenge during which she is clearly human with her wants and luxuries, but points us back to Jesus in each entry of her journal. This book makes you reflect on how much do we really need? What can we be giving to others? How can we be more creative? Is this a necessity? Are we being good stewards? In a society where we enjoy luxury even within our churches, can we use our money or possessions in a more pleasing way to God? Jen really tests our motives and our every-day routine life.

Available at Amazon.com.