Congruent Christianity is a pattern of living that seeks to consistently express the core values of Jesus in every area of our lives. This doesn’t happen by pretending we are perfect or holy. The only one who might be fooled by such pretense might be us. Anyone else who lives with us knows the truth of our weakness, failures, and mistakes. Living a life that is congruent with the values of Jesus is not found in pretending to be better people than we really are. In fact, the most congruent people are probably those who most often say four things:
- I don’t know.
- I need your help.
- I was wrong.
- I am sorry!
Why are those things so difficult to say? Why is it so hard for us to acknowledge that we don’t know something? We have such hard and fast opinions, but, as Artimus Ward, said, “The problem is many of us know so many things that simply aren’t so.”Why is it so hard to ask for help or to admit we were wrong and take responsibility for our mistakes? Saying “I’m sorry” is the ultimate expression of what it means to live by grace, and grace is the ultimate core value for Jesus and those who seek to follow him.
Healthy people don’t need to say those things any more often than unhealthy people, but they have learned that to tell the truth about their lives is to trust God’s amazing grace and that grace is the only path to health, wholeness, and holiness.
We can continue to PRETEND to follow Jesus, but congruent followers offer grace to others because they know how much they need it themselves. Pretending otherwise only fools us or, perhaps, only makes fools of us.
by Michael Piazza
The Center for Progressive Renewal