“The only thing about my life that is consistent are my inconsistencies.” This statement was spoken prior to a Zoom prayer meeting with a group of men. When beliefs and behaviors contradict one another; it indicates disorder. If that is true, then spiritual schizophrenia must be rampant. When one’s “talk” and one’s “walk” oppose one another, a reset is needed.

Paul charged Timothy with three important duties: purity of heart, a good conscience, and unfeigned faith which simply means a “sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5). The entire epistle contains instruction on attaining and maintaining these ideals. The word “sincere” means without hypocrisy. In Bible times a clay pot or vessel would develop cracks. To mask the defects a craftsman would fill in the lesions with wax, and then hide the imperfections with a fresh coating. Potential purchasers could hold up the container to a bright light in order to discern whether it was solid or flawed. Any filled cracks would become detectable in the presence of the light. These hidden flaws exposed a lack of continuity. On the other hand, a sound piece of pottery was without cracks. It was uniform, solid, or consistent.

Total consistency is a human impossibility. I have met some theological know-it-alls who are blind to what is obvious to everyone else. They really believe they are superior in every regard, especially when compared to the unenlightened. In their minds they have it right, so they always view themselves favorably. It’s like some of them are just waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity so they can take their rightful place! One mark of a deceived heart is an elevated view of Self which dismantles one’s ability to evaluate himself objectively. Only an arrogant man would cling to the notion of personal infallibility.

Sincere believers do not pretend to be something they are not. Neither do they attempt to camouflage their inconsistencies. As they “walk in the light” they become keenly aware of their own discrepancies. They quickly bring any dark areas to the well-lit presence of God. Light-walkers are open and teachable. Instead of taking shelter in a refuge of lies, they welcome God’s searchlight.

Andrew Murray said, “Humility is having insight into one’s own insignificance.” And this sort of awareness is the best safeguard against duplicity and hypocrisy.

Inconsistency is difficult to detect in ourselves. The way of a man is right in his own eyes (see Prov. 14:12). Puffed up with knowledge, a man may become delusional and think he has found the perfect balance. With an inflated view of himself, he makes bold assertions like “I am a Biblicist.” Of course he is inferring that all others are non-Biblicists! All others are wrong, and he alone is right.

Let’s face it, God Himself is the only impartial and perfect judge. Human bias, education, life experiences, love of tradition, and personal predilections makes total objectivity unachievable. And a wise man knows enough to know that he does NOT know it all. But the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, and he who listens to counsel is wise (Prov. 12:15). We must get beyond pious self-congratulations, and open our hearts and minds to input from the Lord and others. Before we can help someone else remove their splinter, we must remove the beam from our own eye.

Consistency is the result of correction from the Holy Spirit, deliberate repentance, self-discipline, and daily effort. God commands His people to “be holy” in behavior because He is holy (1 Pet. 1:15). Holiness begins in the heart, but reveals itself in lifestyle choices. How often are we prone to call out in other people the things we are guilty of ourselves (Rom. 2:1)? Perhaps the reason we can so readily detect these faults is because we have trafficked in those same faults so often that they become easily recognizable?

Consistency is the by-product of obedience. A “holy” life is genuine and harmonious. Holy men bring every thought captive to Christ. This is not automatic. It requires intentional concentration, and continual cooperation with the Holy Spirit. It is true that you might as well try to see without eyes as to try to live the Christian life apart from the Spirit of Christ. But the downplaying of human responsibility is foreign to Scripture. More and more churches are teaching that unseen forces are the sole determining factor in one’s destiny. But Jesus said emphatically, “If you love me keep my commandments.” He also called His followers to self-denial and daily cross carrying. You and I have a part to play in our sanctification.

Consistency provides security and stability in all areas of life. The apostle Paul wrote about living sincerely and without offence; about distinguishing and approving the things which are excellent (Phil. 1:10). When the soul is unified and the conscience is clear, it brings about cohesion and strength. Consistent people tend to navigate life on earth with fewer ups and downs. And good habits are the basis of good character.

Inner harmony is the fruit of consistency. When the mind, will, and emotions are in sync; it results in peace and steadiness. And a sincere faith is paramount in this pursuit.

Growth in consistency is attainable. God’s design for all His children is conformity to Christ. And what is conformity other than agreement and correspondence? Born again people have the heavenly nature deposited within them. Everyone who is saved is a partaker of the “divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). A consistent believer brings his soul and life into agreement with his new nature.

So how is consistency achieved? How is the heart purified and the will wed together in obedient behavior? How are the inner man and the outer man fused into union? First, we must comprehend our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Jesus became one with us in our sin that we might be one with Him in righteousness. We are in Christ, and Christ is in us. What God has joined together let no man put asunder!

Jesus prayed that all His followers would be “one” just like He was one with the Father. Oneness, wholeness, harmony, unity, and consistency is the divine goal of salvation. A believer’s positional righteousness is absolutely perfect because he is reconciled to God through Christ’s work on the Cross. He identified with us that we might identify with Him. And our practical righteousness becomes a reality as our practice catches up with our position. Growth in grace is really just becoming what we are already are… in Christ. And this process takes a lifetime.

Second, we must actively believe what the Bible teaches. We must count these things to be true, regardless of our feelings and emotions. So it all comes down to faith. We either believe God’s Word, or we don’t. Romans chapters six and eight spell out the crucified life and the Spirit-filled life in detail. These truths must be activated and realized by faith.

Third, active dependence upon the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to make real in us the things that are true about us. It is more than a head trip. The Spirit-filled life becomes functional as we “walk in the Spirit” day by day (Gal. 5:16).

Total consistency will be ours in heaven. All the opposing forces; the world, the flesh, and the devil will then be banished. But in the mean time we must fight the good fight of faith. Knowing (Rom. 6:6), reckoning (Rom. 6:11), and yielding (Rom. 6:13) is the only way to consistent Christian living. Are there battles, burdens, and blunders? Yes, but there blessings also! Christ is with us, for us, and in us. And He is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). As we grow in grace, we grow in Christ-likeness and develop more consistency.

God’s calling to sincerity, wholeness, and consistency is the birthright and goal of the Redeemed. Instead of focusing on your flaws, frailty, and failures: keep looking to the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Christ’s constancy is our example in this ever-changing world.

A mature Christian accepts responsibility, walks in the light, obeys the Word, and lives under the control of the Holy Spirit. As he does these things, he becomes more consistently like Christ. And that sincere faith is obvious to all who know him.

Harold Vaughan


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Harold Vaughan

View posts by Harold Vaughan
Evangelist Harold Vaughan is the founder of Christ Life Ministries, Inc. To date, his ministry has led him to preach in forty-eight states and many foreign countries. Click on "ABOUT" in the menu bar to learn more about Harold.
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