Oftentimes in my life, I’ve used the phrase “consistently inconsistent” as the proverbial “story of my life.”
No, not that kind of story.
I feel like it’s a cool thing when somebody says a phrase or a sentence and you say back, “Dude, story of my life!” There’s a chuckle and a smile and then you continue on with the conversation.
The time it really struck me was during my freshman year of college. I was playing racquetball with a few friends. Now, the one thing you need to know about me athletically is that occasionally I’ll somehow pull off something incredible – a great catch in football, an unreal save in soccer or a pretty sweet racquetball hit. But the majority of the time, I can’t do the simple things. A ball right in my hands bounces off. I mis-kick a pretty simple pass right to an opponent. Or I just swing at the ball and hit nothing but air.
I made some kind of great play in racquetball against a friend of mine and he made that remark, that sometimes I’d do what seemed impossible but couldn’t do the simplest thing. I wasn’t offended. I just said, “I’m just consistently inconsistent…story of my life.” And it hit me: that wasn’t just something I said to make a joke. It’s true.
You could define my life by how inconsistent I am. Even within the span of a day, I can flip-flop on my thoughts on a number of things. Sometimes in the hour or so it takes me to write these blog posts, I change my mind on several pieces of it, wonder if I should even post it. Some people might chalk that up to normal doubts that everybody faces, but this is a big deal to me. It’s a consistent part of my life.
Yesterday, I was pondering a very important question: “Why do I follow Jesus?” I think it’s a question we often don’t have a good answer for, or we recycle some stock answer in which we may or may not have anything invested. Now there are people who use those “stock answers” and really mean them and really have experienced them, and I love it! Yet, it’s one of the most important questions you’ll ever have.
Kids go to college and the only reason they “follow Jesus” is because they were raised in church and it seems like it’s the “right thing” to do. But when they go to college and that foundation is shaken, there’s not much left. This is one of the main reasons why I love youth ministry; I want to help these kids have that foundation. Read more about that here.
If there’s no real foundational answer to the question “why,” you’ll get shaken by anything and everything against your faith that comes your way. And yesterday, after almost a year and a half of struggling with that question, I got my newest answer. I think there’s a sense where the “why” is different at different times of your life, but I had been questioning “why” many times over the last year and a half. I couldn’t come up with a concrete answer.
But yesterday, I got it! Here it is: the consistency of Christ. I’ll break it down a bit:
- While I am woefully inconsistent in so many ways, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
- While I am woefully inconsistent in defeating sin, Jesus by His grace always defeats sin. (Romans 5:20-21).
- While I am woefully inconsistent in praying for others, Jesus is always interceding on my behalf before God (Hebrews 7:27).
- While I am woefully inconsistent at living humbly, Jesus was always humble (Philippians 2:5-11).
Those are just some of the ways that Jesus is consistent. He says what He means and means what He says, and then He does it! I love it! It’s so awesome! And it teaches me a few things.
Jesus is so much holier than I am. This truth humbles me. I look at this and I see that I’m clearly not to the level that He’s at. His consistency is one of the marks that make Him God, and it’s a reminder that I just don’t measure up.
Jesus is not swayed by sin, people’s opinions or circumstances. He’s not swayed by sin because He doesn’t sin. He’s not swayed by people’s opinions because nobody can bring a charge against Him that would make Him wrong. He’s not swayed by circumstances, He controls circumstances.
Jesus’ consistency means I’m consistently saved. If His love and grace for me never changes, then I never have to fear about losing my salvation. His consistency on earth, the fact that He never sinned, means that I have a claim to righteousness – His, not mine.
So often in Christianity, we talk about wanting to be “consistent” in our walks with Christ. We want to have a consistent prayer time, a consistent Bible study routine, consistently be growing. And all those things are desirable and awesome. But wouldn’t we be better off if we also thought more and talked more about how Jesus was consistent? Because it means our salvation.