The other day I said to a friend, “I’m realizing drama is part of this job.” He laughed, having been in ministry far longer than I have. “I guess I thought I could escape it, like if I had the right amount of space between my and my students, better management skills, more excellent preaching - like it would all go away. I realize it’s a lie I’ve been telling myself.”
“It’s part of the church, my friend,” he said. “And no matter where you go, or what job you have, it’s what happens when sinners get together. They sin. There’s no escaping that.”
This is obvious. What he said: obvious. But it wasn’t only the truth I needed, it was exposure to my own lie. I understood the truth, but I hadn’t understood the places in my heart that had been staging a coupe against the truth.
Eugene Peterson once wrote: “The Christian life is the lifelong practice of attending to the details of congruence—congruence between ends and means, congruence between what we do and the way we do it, congruence between what is written in Scripture and our living out what is written…”
It’s not the truth part that gets me, it’s the congruence between me and the truth.