Sunday, January 15, 2023

Hey everyone! I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of Mike Donehey's Grace in the Gray: A More Loving Way to Disagree, which releases January 17, 2023.  I've been looking forward to reading this book, having read his first novel and enjoying the music he and Tenth Avenue North have put out. Check out my review below!

By approaching disagreements in a more loving way and seeing the grace and good in those who hold differing viewpoints, you'll gain a deeper understanding of others, yourself, and God--from the bestselling author of Finding God's Life for My Will.

"Written with just the right amount of humor, reflection, and heart, Grace in the Gray shows us how to focus on the people we may disagree with more than focusing on the issue at hand."--Mac Powell, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter

In a culture where constant offense and polarization dominate so many interactions, here is good news about a more productive way to disagree: God desires for us to become better at loving others . . . not better at debating.

Grace in the Gray helps us see the grace and good that's often hidden by our own limited perspectives and assumptions. Through a collection of personal stories and biblical insights, Mike Donehey reveals a four-stage process to help you

1. subjectify those you've objectified
2. empathize with those you've vilified
3. humanize those you've deified
4. see why your posture is as essential as your position

In relationships, professional settings, and social situations, discover how to focus on the person standing before you more than the argument set against you. Doing so gives you the rare ability to face any conflict with better questions, kindness, and the calming posture of curiosity.

It all begins by learning to listen and lead with the most transformative substance the universe has ever known . . . God's love.

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Overall, I give this a solid 3.5/5 rating. Donehey has a great purpose going in this novel: that we need to fix our eyes on God and the Bible as opposed to what our personal opinions are. (See also, the difference between personal opinions/convictions and biblical commands.) While I didn't agree with everything he said, that disagreement actually made me sit down and think about WHY I didn't, whether I had any biblical basis to do so, and I think that's the deeper purpose of this book when it comes down to it. Donehey quickly calls out the spirit-killing "tradition" and pride that often accompany these things. The book really started out on fire, and I was thrilled to have picked up a copy, I was taking notes left and right, I was being convicted...and then it kind of petered out. Maybe it was just me personally, but it felt like he was just touching the surface of some topics when I wished he would dig deeper. Other topics, I wish he had approached with the same energy as he did in the beginning. However, when you come down to it, it's a good book and it's very heartfelt in its core, and I do recommend it.

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