Qualities of a Well-Lived Story

This week, Dr. Dan Allender and Rachael Clinton Chen begin a new series on the podcast about what makes up the various qualities of and what it means to live a well-lived story. Our own stories are not enough to guide us into living well—we need other people, pictures of, and examples who reveal the very qualities that our stories are meant to reveal. In this episode, you’ll hear Dan and Rachael discuss the characteristics of a well-lived story worth emulating and how, over the coming weeks, they’ll be inviting special guests to share with us how some of these characteristics have come to be a part of their own life and story.


“A well-lived story is not about being in exotic places, with well-known people, with exciting endings. A well-lived story engages the very reality of living in a fallen world in a way that offers and engages justice and mercy.” Dr. Dan Allender

“I think of curiosity as the openness to ask, seek, and to knock with a deep sense that there is more of God to be found in every nook and cranny of this universe. Also, a keen awareness that what I know is only partially good and true and I need a hermeneutic of suspicion that is kissed with kindness.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“The fact is any story that is this deep commitment to move away from danger already is a life not worth emulating and so the question is: Do we become experts at a kind of danger and then live with incredible cowardice in a hundred other areas? I think that’s where I think courage in one area is meant to be a spilling over, an invitation into far more.” Dr. Dan Allender

“Sometimes kindness is really tender, and sometimes it is really ferocious. To me, this is how I experience the kindness of God. I don’t experience a placating, patronizing, pitying God, I experience a God who oftentimes is exposing and yet I know that that movement is to imagine more for me than I can imagine for myself, to want to provide comfort in a way that sometimes I don’t want, and to disrupt in ways that invite me to love more deeply.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“Own your context, don’t condemn it, own it but also know that you have to have eyes from outside of your own centeredness to decenter you so that you can join a larger core and that core is the ultimate worshipping in all languages, all races, all ages, all gender, in a way that allows us to become more of who we are.” Dr. Dan Allender

“In the realm of trauma, one response is to just power through. We’re not talking about powering through, we’re talking about a capacity to persevere with care for one’s own body and other people’s bodies to the larger body to stay on the journey for the long haul sustainably.” Rachael Clinton Chen