It’s good to be persistently consistent

Published 5:45 am Friday, May 3, 2013

I will be the first one to admit that I am not the most gifted person at matching up colors — especially concerning clothing. Like most men, I do not like to stop to ask for directions when I am traveling and I do not like to ask for help when trying to find something in a store (the hardware store is an exception!). But when it comes to dress clothes, it does not hurt my pride at all to ask someone if certain colors and styles go together.

Just the other day I wore a pair of shoes that I was unsure about, so I asked one of the ladies in the office if she would let her husband out of the house with shoes of that color with the color of pants I was wearing that day. She took a look and quickly reminded me that I had asked her about that same pair of shoes sometimes back. Then she told me that they were fine, which was the same answer she had given to my question several months ago; she was consistent with her evaluation of my color coordination.

On occasion, Gale and I have bought grocery products that did not bear brand names. Those generic brand items came at a cheaper price and indeed contained the product that the label stated, but it seemed that the quality was not always consistent; sometimes it would be better tasting than others. Such inconsistency made those items, at least in my opinion, difficult to trust and not really worth the little money that we saved by purchasing them.

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Being consistent in an opinion about clothes and other common things in life can be a good thing, but consistently living in a manner that honors God is of much greater importance. When we display what appears to be commendable piety in church only to later exhibit actions and attitudes that oppose what God’s Word declares about righteous living is a sad inconsistency that exists between what we claim about devotion to Christ and what we actually are. In the words of Howard G. Hendricks: “Great impressions can be made from a distance, but reality can only be tested up close.” We must strive, with God’s help, to live so that when we are looked at up close (and we are everyday) that our lives will constantly demonstrate an ongoing and authentic passion to please Christ.

One of the attributes of God is His consistency; He is true to His nature and true to His Word. We are told in 1 Samuel 15:29 that “He Who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man, that He should change His mind” (New International Version). And Hebrews 13:8 declares that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” There is tremendous comfort and confidence in the realization that what was true about God in centuries long past remains true of Him today. Without a doubt He is persistently consistent.

Among the characteristics of God that we invite Him to incorporate into our lives, consistency in righteous living should surely be one of them. The catchy statement of Harry Hein might be worth considering: “Be who you is, cause if you ain’t who you is, then you is who you ain’t.”