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Making Your Life Congruent With the Word of God

Well done is better than well said. Benjamin Franklin.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many…” Matthew 25:23

Have you heard lately what you do speaks louder than what you say. I’ve noticed my children and family pay less attention to what I say and more to what I do. Congruency is to agree or be harmonious. My assignment to myself has become to do more of what I say so that my life will increase in congruency.

S. Truett Cathy, the founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A restaurants is a man of congruency. His life has been matching what he says for years. In recent years his restaurant has become known for the cows that can’t spell on their billboards writing, “Eat mor chikin.” But who do you know thinks cows can spell anyway? Using cows to advertise chicken products is just one successful example of Cathy’s God given wisdom.

Cathy was born March 14, 1921, in a rural community of Georgia south of Atlanta. His father, James B. Cathy, was a strict disciplinarian with a mean streak. Cathy said in an article, Focus on the Family September 2000, “He wasn’t the kind of man I would have liked to have as a father, he ruled the house with a leather strap, and he wasn’t afraid to use it.”

His father, a real estate agent, was ruined by the twin blights of the Great Depression and a boll weevil plague that destroyed the cotton crop. “My dad never recovered from the Depression,” Cathy says. “He never went to church or helped me in any way. I can’t ever remember him telling me he loved me. He just left it up to my mother.”

Which turned out to be a good thing says Charles Q. Carter, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, “Truett got his heart from his mother.” One result of such an upbringing, Carter says, is that Cathy is very sympathetic to family circumstances.

1921                Born in rural Georgia south of Atlanta.

1946                Opened first restaurant Dwarf Grill and established policy of closed on Sunday.

1955                Began teaching Sunday school class for 49 year span at First Baptist Church.

1967                Opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall.

1984          Established WinShape Foundation aimed at shaping winners and later established foster home system called WinShape Homes.

For more than 40 years, Cathy has taught Sunday school class for 13-year old boys at his home church. According to Pastor Carter he sees it as a last chance to have an impact on a young boy’s life. For relaxation, Cathy enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his long-time friend and pastor along with the “Holy Rollers,” a cyclist group from his church.

Along with his Sunday school class, he is equally committed to community service and helping the less fortunate. His motto, “It’s easier to build boys and girls than to mend men and women” has been the directing force for the establishment of the Winshape Foundation and the companion organization Winshape Camp. The foundation and the camp aim at shaping winners. The camp, a 2-week program is designed to help boys and girls build self-esteem through spiritual activities.

Another Cathy initiative, the Winshape Foster Home Care Program that takes young children and provides them a place to thrive until they are ready to leave the nest for work or college. There are presently 11 WinShape homes.  Cathy has been quoted as saying, “I don’t give away a lot of money but I do invest in people. There’s a big difference.”

He is a man of deep faith who has built his life and business on hard work and ethical and moral principles. Even so, none of this generosity would be possible if Cathy’s businesses were not successful. Cathy began his career in the restaurant business in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant, the Dwarf Grill. Chik-fil-A’s history has spanned well over 50 years. With over 1000 Chick-fil-A restaurants, the company is reported to generate sales in excess of $1 billion.

Read the Bible book James this month. God has called us to be congruent in our families, businesses and ministries as we live our lives before others. I believe S. Truett Cathy has captured James 1:22: Do not merely Listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Now let’s join him in making our lives congruent with the word of God.


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