Bo White

Ideas and Grace over Coffee

Grace Stories are the Best Stories

 

Whether you are a good samaritan or a prodigal son, the best stories are grace stories. What do I mean? I do not mean that novels you love are not great nor do I mean that award winning fiction, inspiring biography, rich history, or motivating leadership books are somehow not worth our time. I actually read often and love the tapestry of material available to us all in so many editions, formats, and translations.

I simply mean this: the best stories are grace stories. They show us a bit more of radical generosity and a bit less of human self-absorption. We encounter sacrificial love more than self-sufficiency and we wrestle with the wounds of dear friends, the lack of judgment from loved ones, the increase of compassion, the decrease in defensiveness, and the awareness that we’re both deeply flawed and deeply accepted.

To encourage you and to remind you, I will post a couple of paragraphs from two different sources. One is from a group named Truefaced that is committed to spreading a message of grace and the other is from C.S. Lewis who simply has a way with words.

Grace is a Community You Enter
 
When you walk into some groups, you can feel freedom, joy, and safety before anyone has spoken to you. You can also immediately sense intimidation, fear, or power in a room. It’s an atmosphere that we discern because of the way we are designed.
God made the emotional center of the human brain to work in what are called open loops. A closed-loop system, such as your circulatory system, is self-regulating, which is why what’s happening in the circulatory system of others around you doesn’t affect your own system, for good or for bad. But, the emotional system doesn’t work that way. It is an open-loop system that depends largely on external sources to maintain health. This means that, environments are determinative for either good or evil, growth or degradation. For example, American Medical Association Surveys show that “cardiac care units where the nurses’ general mood was ‘depressed’ had a death rate among patients four times higher than on comparable units.” So, choose your cardiac care unit for the health of its relational and emotional community! And make this a nonnegotiable criterion in your faith communities as well.
Therefore, it not only matters what we as parents, presidents, and pastors say and do, but how we do what we do in community. Christianity is a faith of relationship. It matters whether we foster an environment of grace or an environment of ungrace. A person gets healthy only in a healthy community of grace where the truth can flow and trust can be built. (from Truefaced)

From C.S. Lewis

“The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or — if they think there is not — at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it,” (Mere Christianity).

 

If you have other reminders of grace stories, follow me on twitter @bomwhite or connect with me on this site. I’d like to know.

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