A friend once asked me what some of my favorite words were. I paused and reached back in my mind then said a few of my favorite…”Indelible, delectable, vivacious, enigmatic”…these were a few, I simply like that way they sound. As the dialogue continued I was then asked what word in the human vocabulary most encapsulates a value I cherish? Believe it or not the word came like a large neon billboard along a darkened highway. Just for the fun of it I will give you a few clues.
What characterizes those who habitually succeed in sports, sales, or some other skill?
What single quality in business builds respect?
What’s needed most by parents in the home? What’s needed in all close friendships?
What draws you to eat at the same restaurant time and time again?
What will guard you against foolish extremes and erratic impulsivity?
What do you value from your postal carrier, paper boy, or landscaper?
CONSISTENCY…That is the answer that comes to my mind. Steadiness and Consistency which you can count on and rely on. It’ll be there tomorrow just like it was yesterday…free from mood swings, sudden changes, or fickle interruptions. When the majority is tired and irritable, consistency is stable and resilient. Not insensitive, not constantly flexing and fluxing but reliable and faithful. Not opposed to change or progress, but trustworthy. Not stubborn and obstinate but solid, rock solid. It’s the stuff of missionaries who give themselves wholly to a labor without fully knowing the fruit they will yield. It’s the picture of a faithful minister laboring to prepare a compelling message for 50 listeners with the same commitment as if preaching to 500. It’s the faithful employee showing up on time with sleeves rolled up saying “What needs to be accomplished this morning?” It’s the partner who is there for you even after draining day.
Consistency is a living model of patience, determination, strength and reliability amidst all the shifting shadows and changing circumstances of life. Consistency is an anchor of iron which transcends the ups and downs, highs and lows, the melancholy Mondays and the Holiday blues. Consistency thrives on sacrifice and unselfishness. Consistency to me is the ultimate mark of maturity. It’s hanging in there day in a day out despite everything that would sidetrack.
Consistency has Biblical Emphasis:
2 Timothy 4:2 …be ready in season and out of season…
Galatians 6:9 …let us not lose heart…for in due time we will reap if we don’t weary…
James 1:3…let endurance have its perfect result…
Romans 4:20…(when speaking of Abraham’s consistency of belief) “…he did not waver…”
Hebrews 11:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.
Now obviously none of us is perfect. We have feet of clay. But I will admit that one of the most magnetic and attractive qualities is God’s consistency with us and His desire that we extend something of this reliability others. God is never early or late. He is never in a lousy mood and thus changing His mind about you. God is immutable. Which according to the Westminster Catechism means “God is unchanging in his character, will, and covenant promises.” No wonder when I was asked of a word that encapsulates a human value I appreciate, without hesitation I said “Consistency.” Consistency is not only an anchor which I want in my boat…but it’s a crown jewel that I hope to display to others.