Everyone during their lives is faced with an option. That option is whether we continue to do things for ourselves or we choose to do things for others is adherence to God’s will. In her new book The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living author Lisa Hendey uses examples from her own life to show how we can make the right decision. Her approach is effective and leaves the reader with much to consider.
The book consists of eight chapters, one on each selected virtue the title alludes to. They are as follows:
The Grace of Belief
The Grace of Generality
The Grace of Creativity
The Grace of Integrity
The Grace of Humility
The Grace of Vulnerability
The Grace of No
The Grace of Rebirth
Each of the chapters takes a deep dive into exploring its virtue and concludes with a number of questions to ponder as well as a closing prayer. This format is used in other books and as in those allows the book to be used for a group discussion as well as personal reflection.
In the chapter on integrity a particularly fitting conversation is held on one’s online avatar. If you spend any time on the internet in any capacity, blogger or otherwise I implore you….read….this….chapter…..more than once! Lisa uses her avatar as an eye opening example for us all. “My avatar’s typically just had her hair done and she’s calm, unworried about deadlines or work-related stress. My avatar never misses morning prayer time. You can tell by the peaceful, composed look in her picture that she begins her day with her priorities in place. My avatar doesn’t binge on chocolate when she’s stressed and is only an occasional social drinker. She doesn’t consider chardonnay a food group. She’s never donned her running shoes in the morning and worn them all day thinking she’ll “get around to” fitting that walk in soon. My avatar doesn’t check on things like stats about how well her books are selling on Amazon or how many people have “liked” her Facebook status. She is humble through and through. In other words, my avatar is often a fictitious character.” Therein lies an important lesson in today’s digital age. Do we spend our time creating a false online persona or do we truly use our corner of the internet to effectively evangelize? Stop and ponder that for a moment.
There are a number of other nuggets within this book as well. In the chapter on humility, “Growing in the grace of humility means catching ourselves in moments or seasons of our lives when we’ve ventured off course or our towers have toppled.” In the chapter on vulnerability, “How easily our desire to meet society’s idea of beauty can turn into vanity and, worse yet, into a lack of love for ourselves just as God created us.” In the chapter of generativity, “Living out a truly selfless love means considering in our relationships how we give the best of ourselves to serving those around us.”
In an age where we are called to be active participants in the new evangelization we need to focus a bit on ourselves as well. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating. We must actively work on our own shortcomings before venturing out into the deep. Once we acknowledge our faults and work on them, the work of evangelization can begin. By simply leading faithful lives in conformance with God’s will you can evangelize through the example of your own life. It’s what the early Christians did and we can do it as well. Lisa Hendey has provided us with a book that focuses on eight key virtues to help us with that goal. With Lisa’s guidance and example, at the end of this book you will find it a little easier to say yes in your own way.