The Grace Barrier

by Gina Parris


“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The Starship was being attacked.  As the enemy fired, the Captain ordered,

“Set the Force Field, now!

The rockets hit the invisible barrier and exploded.  The Starship was saved.

The end.

And this is why I do not write Science Fiction.

However,  all of us have  invisible barriers.  We set our own “force fields” of energy.   We don’t set them consciously, but they are there to shield us from what may be unpleasant interactons with other people.

What if Theodore Roosevelt was correct in his description of the “single most important ingredient in the formula of success?” What if our ability to truly get along with people IS the most important thing?  I happen to agree with him. Whether talking about building a successful marriage or an entreprenurial empire,  creating winning relationships is the key to doing it joyfully.

That’s why I have purposefully created what I call my Grace Barrier. I know that I will come in contact with many different kinds of people. Some of them will rub me the wrong way. Some of them will become angry with me. Sometimes these people may include the ones that live in my house!

When strife tries to shoot at the relationships, I simple put up my Grace Barrier. This force field is special because rather than just create cold mechanical  protection, the Grace Barrier is alive with love. Grace is that unmerited favor that has to flow from a deeper place within.  It is impossible to surround and protect myself with it, without first filling myself with it. It is an unconditional acceptance that says, “You are okay just the way you are.”

I like to think that when people get close to me, they step into that Grace Barrier and they know they are okay.

Og Mandino touched on this idea with his Shield of Love. In The Greatest Secret in the World, his wisdom from The Scroll  Marked II, reads as follows:

“I will greet this day with love in my heart.

But how will I react to the actions of others? With love. For just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and the spears of anger. Adversity and discouragement will beat against my new shield and become as the softest of rains. My sheild will protect me in the marketplace and sustain me when I am alone. It will uplift me in moments of despair, yet it will calm me in time of exultation. It will become stronger and more protective with use until one day I will cast it aside and walk unencumbered among all manners of men…” *

You have power today to stay above the circumstances. You have power to influence others, to find joy in the mundane. You have power to turn a negative situation around. You have power to walk in grace. Let it be your force field.

I am working on a way to touch a lot of lives around the world. If you could go in and rescue someones marriage, or save a life, would you?

Stay tuned. In the meantime, please share what is your favorite key to getting along with difficult or even with wonderful people!

I’m in your corner,



* The Greatest Secret in The World – c 1972 Og Mandino, Bantam Books

  • I cannot claim my shield is entirely ray-gun proof, but shield strength seems added when I consider that God is the final and just arbiter who sees all. I need not always be right in part because in time God will vindicate me for the occasions on which I was right. Second, consideration of my own sins, God's forgiveness of me, and the strengths of others moderates my anger and encourages my forbearance. How well I succeed is a matter of debate; my point is that the perspectives moderate my thought and behavior in some degree.

    • Oh Peter, you are so eloquent. My first boss when I was right out of Bible College used to often remind me, “Gina, God always vindicates the righteous. We don't have to do his job.” And you are right, remembering how good God is to us, helps us be generous with our forbearance!

  • I love the Grace Barrier !! I often tell clients, patients and even my children that they should wear their 'teflon suits' everyday. Why? Simply because they should not allow the negativity of others affect them and it works..all the nasties just slide right off the teflon suit.

    So glad to be part of the world changing team with you:)

    • Thanks Daisy – me too! You know, Ronald Reagan was famous for being called “Teflon Ron” for the way he just let negativity slide off of him too. I like to think that the Grace Barrier is even more powerful than Teflon because it is more pro-active. When I read the Gospels I'm always amazed at how Jesus was ALWAYS in control, because he always chose to stay in Love and Grace – even if he was mad.

    • This made me remember a conference I went to. On reconciliation. In Rwanda. One speaker talked about pre-emptive forgiveness. This game changing idea that you can pre forgive people so that when, not if, they offend or insult or worse- you've already cleared them and can move into love and empathy even faster. It accepts reality and makes the best of it. just wish I could communicate it better 🙂

  • I knew this was gonna be good! Wow, this is my language Gina. A great image for me is that EVERYONE is a masterpiece. There may be some mud on the masterpiece but the mud is not them, it 's not their core identity. Yet sometimes it's what we encounter first. The key for me is to have “eyes” that see past the mud to the masterpiece that is there. I may even be fortunate to help them remove some mud if the opportunity is there just as I've been fortunate to have others help me remove some of my mud. The awesome thing is, it's true! You are a masterpiece!

    • “Masterpiece!” that is a beautiful concept too J. Thank you. What a privilege to bring out the best in people, and let them see more of their master-ful side. 🙂

  • johnlusher

    Wow Gina, I love this post!!! A Masterpiece, that is a great image for each one of us to keep in mind as we look in the mirror, as we look at each other! The Grace Barrier is one of those ideas that as soon as you read it; your mind grasps the concept and KNOWS it makes perfect sense! This is truly an awesome post Gina; thank you for sharing it with the world!!

    • Thanks John – you liked my attempt at science fiction, didn't you? LOL

  • Oooh, good one G. I’m still sitting here, allowing this idea to sink in. It’s a biggie, and it’s important that we ‘get’ it. As to your question, my favorite way to get along with difficult people is to diffuse the situation or task with the phrase ‘no problem.’ There’s something about this that calms people. Plus, it calms the person who writes or says this as well. Another new technique is venting about it on Twitter. And I don’t mean ratting this person out, you can take the situation and turn it into a positive. For example, instead of lamenting to your tribe about this person, ask your tribe how they handle difficult people or situations (like you did).

    Beautiful post and thoughtful comments. You have such a gracious following Gina. It’s an honor to be a part of your fan base.

    • Bless you, Rochelle. Thanks for being in my corner.

  • paulttran

    LOL! Laughter is the easiest way to get someone to listen and be engaged, and your science fiction intro totally caught me off guard and made my day. Thank you!

    As if the post didn't get even deeper and correlatedly better =) I really believe love conquers all, even a world of negativity & people who abuse your heart. What they have is short-term, shallow – and they're crazy to think it can pierce the armor of genuine, teflon, God-protected love. Ridiculous =)

    I 3rd the use of the word “Masterpiece” – J & JL couldn't have said it better!

    • “Masterpiece!” Word of the day. (Go, J!) And I'm so glad my science fiction gift made you laugh. Thank you Paul.

  • Wow! I can't tell you how I needed this. I have found this to be very difficult for me lately. I used to be more positive. I will try harder! 🙂 …and check back here more ofter to keep me in line!

    • By all means! Subscribe, jump in. You are soooooo loved and welcome here. And in keeping with the science fiction theme: “Luke, do there is, or do not. Try, there is not.” -Yoda

    • checking in with Gina is a good thing! She is golden – or platinum!

  • Kevin

    Bless each person before you even begin a conversation.
    I send love and blessings to the person on the other phone line before I pick up the phone.
    Try it out.
    As Wayne Dyer says, “Do not say, When I see it, I will believe it.. Say, I believe it first and then I shall see it.” Or something along those lines. thanks for the post Gina.
    Have a blessed Easter.

    • Kevin, it's always a treat to hear from you. I am keeping that switch of faith turned on, FOR SURE!

  • Thanks for this reminder. Grace is indeed a gift that God first and foremost exemplifies for us. It is also one of the greatest (and sometimes the hardest!) to gift to those who come in our space.

  • Thanks for this reminder. Grace is indeed a gift that God first and foremost exemplifies for us. It is also one of the greatest (and sometimes the hardest!) to gift to those who come in our space.

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