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All That’s Good by Hannah Anderson is a compelling book about growing in discernment to truly be able to see God’s good gifts in our fallen world.

all that's good book cover

All That’s Good by Hannah Anderson

What is discernment? Why does it matter? How do I acquire it? What will I do with it? 

These are all questions that Hannah Anderson answers in her latest book All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment.

It is no secret around here that I cherish the writing of Hannah Anderson (check out my review of her book Made for More here and my review of her book Humble Roots here). Her writing style speaks directly to my heart and I have been helped tremendously in my own Christian walk by her boldness to approach difficult subjects with grace and Scripture. 

All That’s Good is no exception. 

418552: All That"s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment
By Hannah Anderson

In this book, Anderson defines discernment as: “developing a taste for what’s good. 

She forms her argument around the concept in Genesis 1 that everything God has made is good but, because of the massive effects of the fall, it is all tainted and we are also hindered in our ability to see the goodness it still contains and appreciate it as such. 

Despite all the pain, all the sorrow, all the questions, goodness still exists because God still exists. And because He does, He has not left us to sort through the mess alone… While He’s busy in the world around us, He’s also busy in the world within us. As certainly as He has a plan to restore the beauty and goodness of His creation, He has a plan to restore our ability to see and to know it. 

It is toward the goal of helping us see and appreciate the goodness of God’s gifts that Anderson writes the entirety of this book. 

In the opening chapters, Hannah defines discernment and discusses why it matters that we should pursue it. She finishes part one of the book with a look at why discernment is NOT escaping from difficult or ugly things but instead, being able to see goodness in the midst of the darkness. 

Then Anderson turns her attention to Philippians 4:8 which forms the structure for the largest section of this book. 

Over the next six chapters, she breaks down what it means to think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. She spends time defining each of these things and how they play into the thought life and view of the world each believer must have as we approach the subject of discernment. 

Her description of the isolation felt because of social media is timely and important. It fits perfectly with what we so often feel and talk about here at Hospitable Homemaker.

Slowly but surely, our separately constructed realities cut us off from each other and lead us to solitude. Surrounded by a mass of people, we feel unloved and misunderstood, for the simple fact that we’ve created millions of worlds with a population of one. 

That statement is literally underlined, boxed, and starred in my copy of All That’s Good.

That is a crucial reality that is pulling us from one another and making the Christian life, and discernment within that life, infinitely more difficult in our day. 

Related: Why Community Matters In Your Life

See, how we view the world is directly affected by the communities we are in and the information we interact with (a crucial point Anderson develops through her last chapter and benediction). 

We do not form opinions or create our perspective in a vacuum. BUT when social media is our primary source of reality, it is easy to build our lives and opinions based on our particular preferences and move forward only believing those things to be true and valuable. 

This is a scary place to be. More and more we believe ourselves the center of the world we have created. More and more we miss out on the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13). 

Hannah Anderson, in this book calls us to more. She calls us to build real relationships, to examine Scripture closely, to understand what is truly good, and then to look for goodness in the world around us. 

This was a convicting read for me and one that I encourage you to dig into deeply. 

As a final call to read the entirety of All That’s Good for yourself, I’d like to give you one more of my FAVORITE quotes,

We miss a world of good, beautiful things because we are so worried about making ourselves good and beautiful that we don’t have time to see that God has already made us good and beautiful through His Son. And we miss His good gifts because we are too busy trying to earn them. 

Friend, rejoice today that you don’t have to earn God’s good gifts. Christ has already accomplished that. Look for goodness, enjoy goodness, and stand in awe of the Creator of goodness as you do. 

Oh! And read this book because it will really help you do all of those things. 

418552: All That"s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment
By Hannah Anderson