Philip Yancey writes, “Imperfection,” (and our recognition of such in ourselves), “is the prerequisite for grace. Light only gets in through the cracks.”

A pastor-friend and I were recently talking about the importance of humility. An understanding of one’s own brokenness, is so important for pastors, but also for any follower of Jesus. It can be so easy to get trapped into thinking my group is worshipping correctly, thinking about God correctly, living the Christian life correctly. And thinking I am doing anything right, is only a hairs-breadth away from thinking everyone else is doing it wrong.

One of my seminary professors moved my heart and mind when, after explaining his own understanding of God, he admonished us to “hold our theology lightly.” Wow, I found that to be such a heart-lightening statement. It might be nice to think that we have all the answers and have everything figured out. But perhaps it is even better to know that we are traveling, on a journey of learning, and that we are not at the end of that journey quite yet. And so we can listen, and learn, and appreciate other answers, and other views. And by doing so, both experience grace in our own lives, and share grace with others.

C.S. Lewis agrees, when he writes about God’s unconditional love, God’s grace, allowing us to experience “a full, childlike and delighted acceptance of our… total dependence (upon God). We become ‘jolly beggars.’” Indeed, Yancey responds, we actually give glory to God by our dependence upon our Creator. I would even argue that we are more deeply happy when we realize our total dependence upon God’s grace rather than when we think we are complete control of our lives. Control is an illusion, dependence is a reality.

One more illustration offered by Yancey. “God in heaven holds each person by a string. When we sin, we cut the string. Then God ties it up again, making a knot—thereby bringing us a little closer to him. Again and again our sins cut the string—and with each further knot God keeps drawing us closer.” Hmm, I must be getting pretty close to God by this point.

It’s okay to let your cracks show; that’s how the light gets in. Hold your theology lightly. We don’t have to have all the answers. Live the questions. Be a jolly beggar.

God bless,