Months ago Jeff Goins released his book, Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life. I downloaded it nearly immediately and read it in almost one sitting. When he made an appeal for potential guest-posts on others’ sites in a sort-of virtual book tour, I jumped! What follows are Jeff’s answers to my questions.
Q: You have done a masterful job in your book of talking about the significant experiences and principles that guide your life – all of which are clearly grounded in your faith. And you have done this without being preachy, religious, or dogmatic. How do you walk the line between specifically naming what you believe and inviting an inclusive conversation? Does this hold any tension for you personally?
Jeff: Definitely. Just because I believe something doesn’t mean you need to believe it to be inspired by my belief. In fact, the worst thing people can do is assume their audience agrees with them. That’s not persuasion, it’s propaganda. I’m interested in sharing my worldview with other people in a way that invites those who don’t share to consider embracing it. I can’t do that if I’m being preachy.
Q: Can you talk about the ways in which your spirituality, your beliefs, your faith are intentionally (and even boldly) integrated into your work?
Jeff: Sure. I believe love is stronger than fear and faith is more powerful than cynicism. But I tend to be afraid and pretty cynical most of the times, so this tension is an ongoing battle for me. And I find it is for most people. When I write, I try to write from that place, because it’s a place many can relate to.My faith isn’t something I do; it’s who I am (on the good days).
Q: And why do you think many of us struggle with this integration; this conversation about faith in the midst of the larger (online) world? What will it take for us to get over that and intimately, vulnerably, powerfully engage with one another on this level?
Jeff: Well, I think the honest truth is we all want to be liked. I certainly do. Who honestly doesn’t care what other people think? I don’t mean what everyone thinks, but someone. Anyone. I think most of us prefer to be liked instead of hated. And religion has done a terrific job of dividing people for thousands of years. But I think we do our faith and our friends a disservice when we hide what we believe. There are honest, humble ways to share how we view the world that aren’t offensive or in-your-face. Does that mean everyone will like us, though? Of course not. But you and I were never promised that. What seems unbearable to me is to believe something so powerful, whatever it is, that it changed your life — and then not be able to share it. Or worse: you just choose not to do so.
Order Jeff’s book today. You won’t be disappointed.
Lisa has a huge heart and a brilliant mind. Using both, she created The Widen the Circle Summit: 7 days. 21 teachers of love. Enlighten yourself. Uplift the World. And making this even better, all contributions/sales go directly to The Girl Effect (an organization I wholeheartedly support).
She honored me by asking if I would be one of her “teachers of love” (a title I think I’m going to take on officially…). We had a rich video conversation that goes live today. Other interviews include August Gold, Erin Giles, Dara McKinley Navjit Kandola and so many more! Even though the course officially began on January 13, when you make a donation and register you can see all the previous videos. A wealth of wisdom and love.
Of course, I’d love for you to be able to see the video of our dialogue together; even more, I’d love for you to have access to all the other amazing voices. And most of all, I’d love for you to contribute to The Girl Effect. It matters.
Learn more about The Widen the Circle Summit. Donate. Register. And soak up the love!
A Video with Me and Callahan:
I had the privilege of spending a few days recently with Callahan McDonough. She is an Atlanta artist, activist, and amazing woman. She is my friend. And together we are building our relationship with one another, telling our own stories, and (re)telling ancient, sacred ones in word and art.
While together, Judi Knight interviewed the two of us about how we connected in the first place, the value of collaboration, and why this work matters.
Far more than this video reflects, Callahan and I spent hours and hours talking – as good friends do; telling story after story and learning more of each other’s heart. I was deeply humbled when she said “yes” to me in the first place – months ago when this project began. And now, as I come to know, appreciate, and love her all the more, I understand her to be pure gift from God. To have another person hear and see you in profoundly meaningful ways is significant. To have that same person value your passion and work in the world is even more so. But to work alongside one another on behalf of something even larger, even more important, is life-changing.
Both Callahan and I believe that these stories – my words and her art – have the capacity to change lives and worlds. We also believe in the power and importance of women’s commerce. I hope you’ll experience both by making a purchase of the beauty we are creating together.
Learn more. And support women’s stories, women’s commerce, women’s relationships, women themselves!
When I look over this post I am stunned. The beauty and grace inherent in relationships, collaborations, and conversations is immense. I am overwhelmed. And I am reminded that these things matter: to talk about what I love, to hold fast to what I believe, to hope on behalf of our world, and to give as much as I can. Some days any/all of these are easier said than done, but when their manifestation shows up all in one place, all on one page, all I can do is whisper a deep, heartfelt “thank you” to God…and continue on.