Thanks to everyone who participated in our book discussion about Scary Close this month! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this book.
My recap: Scary Close is one of the best books I’ve read about vulnerability and relationships and the special brand of courage it takes to let another person look inside your soul. I put it right next to Daring Greatly on the bookshelf of my brain.
Discussion #1: Vulnerability is hard
It’s mystifying and maddening how the one thing we want most (to know and be known) is also one of the scariest things we can do as human beings. Donald Miller says, “I hardly knew who I was myself, much less how to be fully known.”
Do you think you have to know yourself first to be known by others? Why or why not?
Discussion #2: Sorting out the truth about yourself
When Donald Miller is reflecting on his childhood, he says, “I realized in running and hiding I’d sided with the other kids, I’d learned to believe there was something wrong with me. And it wasn’t true.”
Are there any lies you’ve believed about yourself since you were a child that you’re coming to realize aren’t true? What has helped you see the truth?
Discussion #3: Real love
I appreciated watching Donald Miller come to understand what deep, lasting love looks like. It isn’t always glamorous or flashy—in fact, he calls it “that long, boring love that happens when a couple quietly eats cereal together while they read the paper.”
Do you think love is built mostly in small moments or big moments, or both?
Discussion #4: The upside of vulnerability
My favorite part of this book is the way it honestly describes the hard parts of vulnerability but also beautifully depicts the redemptive parts of sharing your true self with another person: “My flaws were the ways through which I would receive grace. We don’t think of our flaws as the glue that binds us to the people we love, but they are.”
Are there people in your life who see you as you are, flaws and all? How have these people given you glimpses of God’s grace?
I would give this book five stars (out of five). In my opinion, this is Donald Miller’s best and most honest book, and I’ve been forcing it on just about everyone I know.
How would you rate this book?
Remember: I’ll be giving away a free book to one lucky commenter! Respond by Friday to be eligible.
Kristy DeSanti says
I do think that we need to first know ourselves in order to be truly known by others. If we do not know ourselves that we can not help but interact with others from a place of falsehood or pretending. We then present to them who we think they would like us to be in order to feel accepted. This isn’t truly freeing since in the back of our minds we think – what if they really know me – then what would they think. We can give others a gift if we reveal our imperfect, broken selves first to God then receive His grace and unconditional love for us. This transforming love can then give us the courage to be ourselves to others. When you share your all of who you are with someone else that then gives them permission and safety to be themselves as well. There is always going to be a risk involved but the rewards are truly amazing.
Such wise words, my friend! I especially love what you said here: “We can give others a gift if we reveal our imperfect, broken selves first to God.” So true! Thanks for your heart for the broken and for your passion to help people become whole again.
I really liked this book. It was easy to read and fun but very meaningful. I think other people often know things about you before you know them yourself. Sometimes they are hard things you don’t want to admit and sometimes they are good things you don’t want to believe. I had an experience as a child that has stayed with me. I still don’t believe I can sing because of it. I think real love is made mostly in the day to day ups and downs not in the “big” moments. Those are usually easy to get caught up in the emotions and feel the love but love is so much more than a feeling. I believe my family knows the real me and a few friends but I tend to be too reserved to let others know too much about me. I would give this book five out of five too. It was a good read. I have only read one of his others books and it was just OK. (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years) Good choice.
Thanks for your thoughts, Nancy! I like what you said about how love is made in the day-to-day ups and downs. You live out faithful love!