Heroic DisGrace: What One Man With a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis Learned About Healing, Hope and the Heroic Love of Jesus

By Nancy Flory Published on February 18, 2022

“The cross was the unimaginably upside-down representation of Jesus’ heroism and worship,” writes author Scott Box in his new book Heroic DisGrace: Order Out of Chaos. Hope Out of Fear. “And [Jesus’s] sacrifice for me on that cross was the eternal remedy for my mental brokenness, unhealthy habits, all the chaos around me, all the fear within me, and all the disgusting sinfulness clinging to me. The actions of Jesus seemed disgraceful — maybe. But His love was heroic — absolutely. That [is] the glorious nature of heroic disgrace in a nutshell.”

Becoming Whole and Healthy

At 30 years old, Scott was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder. In his book, Scott vulnerably tackles the subjects of his diagnosis and Christ’s heroic actions on the cross, which make him whole and healthy. The brokenness Scott experienced with bipolar disorder opened his eyes. “I was laid bare,” he explains. Then Jesus remade him. “I found new life. Ironically, I went from disgrace to disgrace to find His grace, mercy, peace and hope in my new life.”

Scott says his bipolar disorder was the catalyst for his desperation of friendship with Jesus. He discovered that he must pursue Jesus and reflect Jesus as a “habit leading to hope.” Jesus modeled that very process. “Jesus pursued the Father. Jesus reflected the Father in everything.” Scott added:

My pursuit and reflection of Jesus — my heroic worship — subdued the violent bipolar emotional shifts I used to endure. Everything in my life kept pointing back to Jesus: the altered living, my dedication to medication, accepting good enough, changing the rules, and knowing it takes everything — all of it, the entire quest … illuminated the path of heroic worship. Jesus Christ’s heroic worship became my context and my witness; heroic as Jesus is heroic.

A Matter of Principle

God doesn’t always heal like we think He should, or will. “God makes healthy what He doesn’t heal … He makes us healthy, even when healing is [an] absurd impossibility. We can still be healthy. That’s my message.” And sometimes God uses medications to make us healthy. For Scott, it’s a no-brainer. “If my carotid artery is spurting blood on the wall next to me … are you gonna stop and pray for me? Or are you going to call the doctor, the EMT, and get this thing patched up before I bleed out?” Taking medication is the same thing. 

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“For me, this is a matter of principle. Just be consistent. If you’re gonna call the doctor because your artery’s slashed open and you’re bleeding on the wall, why won’t you call the doctor when your mental artery is slashed and you’re bleeding out and gonna die from hopelessness? Medication is as easy as that for me.”

Mental Illness in the Pandemic

Sadly, the pandemic has created difficulties for many people with mental illness. “It’s hard not to be slapped across the face with the realities of what the pandemic has done to mental health.” He says the wholeness of the person — mind, body, spirit — has been lost because of the pandemic. Many are giving way to fear. “Fear has driven the church and our culture to focus on the physical at the detriment of the spiritual and the mental. And it’s destructive.”

Living a Life of Heroic DisGrace

Even though people are just human, we can be like Jesus — and we’re supposed to try, says Scott. “And that is what the lifestyle of heroic disgrace is trying to do. And we’re attacking it from this humble place of brokenness that’s going to take us to wholeness because we have a great Hero [in Jesus].”

“If God can do that for a broken man like me, He can absolutely 100% do it and bring wholeness and help to anybody, anyone.”

Scott’s book may be found at Amazon. Find out more at Worship Hero (Facebook page) and http://Worshiphero.com/.

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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