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Gracenomics 30th September, 2010

Posted by Scotty in Books.
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I was excited to receive a copy of Mike Foster’s book Gracenomics to read and review.  It gets released on October 6th and I highly recommend jumping online and making a purchase!

Mike Foster and his best bud Jud Wilhite started an organization called People of the Second Chance.  I say organization but it is more than that… it is a movement of people who uphold a value of radical gracePOTSC ” is a movement of people committed to showing unexpected, excessive and scandalous amounts of grace”.

This is the second book of Mike’s that I’ve read and I’m a big fan of his writing.  Here’s why:

  1. The concepts he writes about are desperately needed!
  2. The books are well designed and well researched.
  3. The illustrations are always unique and relevant.
  4. The books are short and easy to read: simple, to-the-point, yet with great wording (which makes them HIGHLY QUOTABLE!)
  5. They are accessible to everyone!

A key thing to note about Mike’s books… he doesn’t write for a Christian audience.  You won’t find the book littered Bible quotes and Christian jargon.  Instead, he takes Biblical Principles that the world is crying out for and presents them in a way that will impact anyone who reads it.

Gracenomics
-noun

1. The science that deals with the production, distribution and consumption of grace.

In Gracenomics Foster addresses the desperate need for grace in the world today and how we can become conduits of grace. We’ve become a culture that feeds on celebrity gossip and slander, that laughs at other people’s misfortunes, and makes itself feel good by elevating ourselves above others… at their expense!  We all long to be shown grace but are so unwilling to extend it.  Reading the book invites you into a bigger discussion of “grace, failure, and second chances” which is needed outside the church just as badly as inside!

I think my favorite thing about the book is the length it goes to to encourage self-examination and to reflect on the lies we believe about ourselves and others which hinder our ability to show grace.   Becoming people of the second chance (or people who value radical grace) has high cost with huge benefit!  We have to be willing to stop defending our reputation and free ourselves to love.

One of the simple yet profound observations Foster discusses in the book is the loss of our ability to listen and be present:

Unfortunately the skill of effective listening sometimes gets lost in a tweet-happy world obsessed with announcing every mundane teeth-brushing-left-turn-signaling-searching-for-the-remote-control move.

We pride ourselves on our proclamations, not on being good listeners.  (p88)

We are so busy screaming about our “freedom of speech” and “right to express ourselves” that we no longer know how to listen.  It is a wonderful but rare treat to sit down with someone who truly listens instead of those who want to push their opinions on us instead.  Grace involves listening.  In fact, often the most gracious thing with can do for someone is to sit down over coffee, SHUT OUR MOUTHS, and listening.  Rather than judging and critiquing we should hear what they say… not merely listening to their words, but putting ourselves in their shoes and feeling what they feel.  Instead of being quick to condemn, let’s try to understand why what happened happened!

Another thing I appreciated about the book is the way it encourages and guides towards greater self-awareness. Part of being able to extend grace to others comes from “Making friends with our shadow”… allowing ourselves to be “a little more gracious to the losers inside of us.”  Mike’s words free us from the burden of being perfect and getting it right all the time by encouraging us to own our weaknesses.  If we don’t give ourselves permission to make mistakes we’ll never be able to accept someone else’s.

Once you accept your failures, you may come to see them less like disasters and more like the driving force behind future successes. (46)

Do you long to have friends who accept you for who you are?  Do you wish you could be honest about your screw ups and instead of being judged find support in overcoming them?  Do you dream of a work environment where you could take risks and not lose your job if you failed?  Do you long for an environment of grace?

Almost all of us would answer yes (the others are lying!).  Finding grace starts with you and me… and this book is a great starting point for becoming the kind of person we wish we had around!

[For more information about the book or People of the Second Chance jump onto their website (http://potsc.com)]

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Comments»

1. mo - 2nd October, 2010

Great job on the review! I’ve been reading through the reviews everyone has posted and it’s funny to see what we all connected with. I’m totally with you on being a good listener — that probably hit home with me more than anything else.

2. mike foster - 11th October, 2010

thanks scott for this post! glad you liked it! appreciate you taking the time to review the book. all the best! mike.


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