The Cure: What If God Isn’t Who You Think He Is And Neither Are You – Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall, John Lynch

First published April 20th, 2013 – revised Feb 10th, 2022.

Have you ever wondered why being Christian does not feel like what it is supposed to be? The Bible claims freedom and purpose for those who believe, yet you often feel you don’t live up to those standards. Why?

The Cure seeks to answer that question. It describes how Christians typically fail to live in the grace of Jesus. Once we become Christians, our desire is to seek to please our Father in Heaven. Unfortunately, we often take the path of what the book calls “good intentions” or good works. This comes from our misunderstanding of who God is and who we are in His eyes.

The authors use the imagery of wearing masks, so that we can pretend we live what the Bible says. However the reality is different. Our masks are only a pitiful attempt to fool others… and ourselves. On the contrary, the solution is to be honest and confess our weaknesses to others, knowing that grace is what allows us to dwell in Christ continually, not our good intentions.

“In the Room of Grace, sin has no such power. I am ‘Christ in me’ on my worst day, in my worst thought, during my worst temptation.” (chap 4 – Two solutions, Kindle Location 925).

Once we understand that, we can receive and embrace loving forgiveness and we can be the same to others, instead of expecting them to live out the way they are supposed to do.

“Grace is the face love wears, when it meets imperfection.” (Chap 6 – Two friends, Kindle Location 1357).

This is the way that truly leads to live out the teachings of the Bible, and as we grow and mature, we finally find the purpose of the life God intended us to live. We used to seek purpose for own self-gratification, but now that we have been healed from this selfish patterns, our purpose is to seek God’s glory by serving others. Only then, we find full satisfaction.

The message of the book is so important and so true. One common problem Christians have is embracing grace. Martin Luther rightly said “Religion is the default mode of the human heart.” We seek to do good works so that God can accept and be pleased with us. Many of us have constructed an image of the perfect Christian and seek to reach that goal through performance. We have fallen from grace without intending it – which is why the message of this book is much needed.

Best quotes

“Increasingly, the path to pleasing God seems to be about how I can keep God pleased with me.” (Kindle Location 184)

“When our primary motive becomes trusting God, however, we suddenly discover there is nothing in the world that pleases Him more! Until you trust God, nothing you do will please God.” (Kindle Location 273)

“This mask hides pain. It covers shame with appearance and a forced smile. We’re convinced there is no real help for our issues and the best thing we can do is hide our true identities.” (Kindle Location 441)

“When we sin, or when someone else sins against us, we automatically respond. If we commit the sin, our automatic response is called guilt. If someone sins against us, our automatic response is called hurt. God graciously designed these two responses to signal something wrong has happened, that our hearts are disrupted and need healing.” (Kindle Location 503)

“YOUR VIEW OF YOU IS THE GREATEST COMMENTARY ON YOUR VIEW OF GOD.” (Kindle Location 646)

“If I follow the first path, I’m trying to change from who I was into who I should be. If I follow the second, I’m maturing into who I already am. In the first, I’m working toward becoming more righteous. In the second, I’m already righteous, made right by God in the moment I believed.” (Kindle Location 667)

“We can only be loved when another is allowed to meet our needs.” (Kindle Location 920)

“The reality of the sin we’re capable of tells us we are who our shame has declared us to be. In the Room of Grace, sin has no such power. I am “Christ in me” on my worst day, in my worst thought, during my worst temptation.” (Kindle Location 924)

“Reconciliation belongs in a completely different stratosphere than mere conflict resolution. When I want to “fix” a conflict, I will use terms like, “I’m sorry that happened,” or “I really made a big mistake on that one.” When I’m willing to say, “Will you forgive me because I did __?,” I create an opportunity for the other person to forgive me and enter back into a heart relationship with me.” (Kindle Location 1139)

“So, you’re left with the belief that if anything is going to get done, it’s going to happen on the wings of willpower and good intentions. It’ll happen if only you get serious enough. It sounds noble, but it’s like a tar pit. It keeps you stuck in your repetitive mantra: ‘I’m not enough.’” (Kindle Location 1228)

“In the Room of Grace, there’s a different goal, a different motive, a different set of convictions. At the core, we’re just learning to trust and depend on our new identity.” (Kindle Location 1237)

“In God’s eyes, receiving love always comes before giving love. Please read that last sentence again. We have heard too many messages on “learning to love more” or “learning to love better.” In truth, we love only when we first learn how to receive the love of God and others. “We love because He first loved us.” ” (Kindle Location 1325)

“Every day our God is committed to meeting our needs for attention (God’s servant love); acceptance (God’s unearned love); security (God’s committed love); trust (God’s faithful love); guidance (God’s directional love); protection (God’s jealous love); and significance (God’s affirming love). These needs never go away.” (Kindle Location 1344)

“Grace is the face love wears, when it meets imperfection.” (Kindle Location 1357)

“First you had to experience this way of living in your true identity, so you could start healing, so you could mature, so you could be released to love others.” (Kindle Location 1447)

“This is where this whole book has been heading. This goal, this dream, in this lifetime. Our destiny is always about loving others, or being prepared to love others.” (Kindle Location 1465)

“When our worldview shifts to enjoying Him rather than focusing on not sinning, we mature.” (Kindle Location 1471)

“Life in the Room of Grace teaches us to wait for God’s exaltation rather than to pursue position or power. The timing is perfect. We’re no longer in a hurry. For one thing, our dreams are being clarified as our sin is being resolved, our wounds are being healed, and we are in the process of maturing. Our lives are no longer about proving our worth to others through what we get to do. We know He cares even more about our destiny than we do. We know He’s already seen the days of our expression.” (Kindle Location 1506)

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