Do you ever feel like your head and your heart are out of line? Are you acting one way to impress those around you while your values and feelings are quite different? Putting on a show may seem beneficial, but in reality, that disconnect actually makes things worse by increasing our anxiety. Together, let’s discover what Buffy Andrews of Made Well Center for Wholeness says about the concept of congruence. Then, let’s peek into our Bibles to find an example of showing real honesty which reduces anxiety and increases peace.
WHAT DOES CONGRUENCE MEAN FOR YOU?
Buffy of Made Well Center for Wholeness shares some insight with Life 90.5 on congruence and how it affects your life.
Does this problem sound familiar to you, too? First, know that you’re not alone. Your brothers and sisters in Christ also struggle with congruence and honesty with God and themselves. However, in His great kindness, God provides peeks into the heart and mind of a biblical figure who can show us how to better live in congruence.
HANNAH SHOWS CONGRUENCE THROUGH PRAYER
At the beginning of 1st Samuel, we meet Hannah. She’s a heartbroken wife, sharing her husband with another woman, unable to eat, and desperately longing for a child of her own. Instead of acting like everything was fine, she took her longing to the Lord in prayer.
Hannah goes to church and ugly cries in prayer. She pours out her heart and her tears before the Lord, and apparently before some other people too. Showing her true sorrow looks like she’s had a little too much wine, but she couldn’t care less how she appears to others in that moment. She’s done telling everyone she’s “fine” and trying to look on the bright side. She gets real and honest with herself and with God, resulting in congruence with clear emotional and physical benefits.
Not only does Hannah finally get it all off her chest, but she also receives a blessing from the priest Eli. In verse 17, after she explains her situation, he says, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.” And in peace, she went and “ate something, and her face was no longer downcast (verse 18).” The next morning she worshiped the Lord with her husband, and a short time later, God answered her prayer with a son. This child would become the Old Testament prophet Samuel.
WE CAN POUR OUR HEARTS OUT, TOO
Aren’t you thankful for Biblical figures normalizing the ugly cry? It may feel weird to do that with others around, but it’s always socially acceptable to do that before God. Your tearful snorts and sobs and sniffles don’t make Him uncomfortable. In fact, that full honesty in addressing your values, feelings, and heartache before the Lord is actually what brings about the peace you’re looking for.
DO YOU NEED HELP WITH CONGRUENCE?
If you need help figuring out the congruence in your life, reach out to Made Well Center at madewellcenter.org.