Two people talking in the library

WTML: Scary Close

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Donald Miller is one of my favorite non-fiction authors. I appreciate the way he sees things, the way he breaks down concepts, and the companies and products he’s created by combining his various passions into one. He’s written a number of books that I enjoy including Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, but the book that sticks with me more than the others is Scary Close.

I pride myself on not being scared of too many things, but one thing I am truly terrified of is being known. Relationships scare the living crap out of me and I fear letting others in.

When I read Don’s description of himself at the beginning of the book, I found many similarities. It was nice to know that I’m not alone but, at the same time, it was a spotlight on the dysfunction in my own life and heart that I knew was there but pretended I didn’t see.

One of the most memorable stories in this book, to me, is a conversation Don had with Bob Goff. Don was feeling down on himself and was certain that he was doomed to be alone. Though he desired to be close to others, he couldn’t seem to find a way to make it work. One day, Bob called Don and told him “Don, you’re good at relationships”. Bob did this over and over and over again until finally, Don began believing it for himself.

That was the groundwork for the healing process Don was going to walk down that allowed him to tear down the walls he had built around his heart and the unhealthy habits he had picked up over the years. He began learning how to retrain his mind and see things differently than he had before.

I think of that story often and always ask myself two questions because of it:

  1. Who am I encouraging?
  2. How am I encouraging myself?

Don’s level of introspection, his willingness to ask himself the hard questions, and the courage to do the necessary soul work are so inspiring to me. His story challenges me to be more authentic, more intimate, and more self-aware as I go throughout my day.

This book isn’t just about romantic relationships but is about any type of relationship you have. If you interact with human beings this could be a good book to read. If you struggle to open up, hate being authentic, or loathe the idea of intimacy, this is a great one to add to your library!

Check out Scary Close and learn more about dropping the act and embracing true intimacy today!

Have you read any of Donald Miller’s books before? What’s your favorite?

Do you struggle with intimacy? Why or why not?

Don’t forget! Pick up your copy of His Story: A Devotional on the Character of God today!

Disclosure: some links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 


  1. I was in a session once where the speaker talked about how the way we think forms literal grooves in our brains. When we consistently keep thinking the same way – in this case destructive thinking about oneself – that groove forms and that becomes the natural path our thoughts take. Overcoming that is finding the truth and repeating it to ourself over and over until we believe it and a new groove is formed.
    I was reminded of that when you mentioned he told his friend over and over that he was good at relationships until he finally believed it in himself. That’s how we have to break through the lies we allow ourselves to believe, how we overcome the negative thought patterns.
    Wow this is a deeper subject than I can fully cover here lol…I’ll just leave it there! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Yes! YES!! You are on to something so powerful and one of the books I’m going to discuss next week actually talks about that very subject and how we can rewire those neural pathways in our brains.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Work in Progress and commented:

    In the book, Scary Close, Donald Miller recounts how his view of himself changed over time because someone else believed in him. He had gone through a breakup and had been berating himself, believing the lie that he wasn’t good at relationships. Then, one day, Bob Goff was chatting with him on the phone and Bob told him “Don, you’re good at relationships.” Donald didn’t believe it at the time, but that phrase sparked something in him. It was something that Bob kept reminding him of as he began to make healthy changes in his life.

    Recently, I’ve been thinking about that story a lot because I have, like Don, believed that I’m bad at relationships. And, because I have believed this lie, I have developed the habit of keeping people at a distance.

    The thing I’m reminded of in Scary Close is that even if we’re bad at relationships, we can learn to be good at them. God created us for community and relationships, so I believe, if we’re willing to put forth the effort and try, he’ll help us out… a lot.

    Do you tend to isolate from others?

    How can you take a step toward a healthy relationship with another human being today?


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