The Grace & Truth Matrix - Part 2

Updated: Feb 26

by GravityLeadership -

In a Kairos Cohort we start by exploring 7 paradigms for finding our center. This is the way of seeing the world as Jesus seemed to see it: God is present and at work in the world, calling all creation back into unity with himself is the first one. With this paradigm in place, we move on to the next phase of finding our center: learning to dwell in the posture of Jesus. If paradigm is the big picture, posture is how we embody this paradigm in our everyday lives. If paradigm is a way of “seeing” the world, posture is a way of “being” in the world. We are called to not only see things the way Jesus does but to be in our world the way Jesus is.

Read Part 1

(2) Grace without truth: Hang Out

When we are committed to “grace” but hesitate to speak the truth to one another, we create a Hang Out culture.

The highest concern in a Hang Out culture is that everyone is getting along, there is no conflict, and nobody feels uncomfortable. Any issue or conversation that could bring discomfort or awkwardness is managed away or avoided.

Call Out culture separates us from one another in the interest of “calling it like it is,” while Hang Out culture is kind of the opposite: we are so concerned with staying together and everyone being “okay” that we shrink back from difficult conversations. Preserving the peace is of the utmost importance, and because of this, confrontation and truth telling (and truth listening) are hardly (if ever) done. Triangulation and passive aggressive behavior thrive in a Hang Out culture, because the main thing is keeping everything copacetic.

Many of us grew up in family systems like this. If the Call Out culture demands compliance from children, the Hang Out culture just wants the kids to be happy. Thus, in what may seem counterintuitive, Hang Out culture can look quite the opposite of “hanging out” for those who take on the responsibility of making sure others are perfectly happy. Within families, it is reflected in the phenomenon of helicopter parenting—the father or mother who swoops in to take care of any problems that the child may face.

In the end, Hang Out culture disempowers others by denying their agency, taking on others’ responsibilities as our own. The “grace” it seems to express isn’t really Jesus-grace; his grace empowered others, but Hang Out culture keeps others dependent on us. The result is over-connection in relationships. Common words in our culture for these unhealthy, toxic relationships are co-dependency and enmeshment.

If a Call Out posture creates a culture of performance and hiding, Hang Out culture creates a culture of pleasing and pretending. Everyone is working overtime to make each other happy and pretending that they are fine.

Hang Out culture never achieves the peace it hopes for, and doesn’t ultimately lead us to a place of dwelling in the love of Jesus. Instead it simply keeps us in proximity to each other, but separated on the level of our souls.

(Notice, too, that the nice/tough tightrope actually runs between Hang Out and Call Out.)


  1. Where have you experienced Hang Out culture?

  2. How do you know?

  3. Describe the contours of the culture through specific interactions you remember.